Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment recently announced that recently acquired developer Turbine Inc., will update Lord of the Rings Online to adopt a free-to-play model this fall in North America and Europe. Codemasters will be operating the free-to-play model in Europe.
“Turbine’s Dungeons and Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited was the world’s first truly premium free-to-play online game that ushered in a new era of choice for online gamers seeking quality entertainment,” said Jim Crowley, President and CEO of Turbine Inc. “The popularity of DDO validated the extraordinary demand by gamers for quality entertainment they can experience at their own pace and within their budget. Extending free-to-play to LOTRO will offer another premium game to a broad spectrum of fans.”
This update will introduce Turbine’s new pricing model, which is similar in many respects to the Dungeons and Dragons Online. The model allows players to download and play the game for free, and purchase expansions, quest packs, items, and account services from the LOTRO Store. Players may also opt to join the VIP program for unlimited access to all of the game’s content for a monthly fee. In addition to premium access to the game’s content, VIPs get five character slots, a shared bank slot, and a monthly allotment of points to use in the LOTRO Store. Existing subscribers are automatically enrolled in the VIP program.
A Beta will be launched on June 16, and players interested can register on the sign up page for a chance to participate.
“Having successfully taken two titles free-to-play in the past we are very pleased to be doing the same with The Lord of the Rings Online in Europe,” said David Solari, the Vice President and General Manager of Codemasters Online. “It’s a fantastic, award-winning game with a wonderfully realized world and this step will only broaden its appeal and increase its player base.”