turbine posts

Massachusetts lawmakers debate possible tax breaks for game studios

Lawmakers in the state of Massachusetts are currently debating whether or not to become the latest state to offer tax breaks to game development studios. The Boston Herald reports that a bill is still in its early stages and faces some opposition from other lawmakers who feel that specific industries should not be boosted above others.

Massachusetts is already a popular place for game development with teams like Irrational Games, Turbine, Demiurge Studios and others located in and around the Boston area. In 2010, another Boston-based game development team, 38 Studios, left the state and moved to Rhode Island thanks to a massive $75 million loan guarantee sponsored by that state's government.

[Via GamePolitics]

Report: Lord of the Rings Online tripled revenues since going free-to-play

Developer Turbine's move to turn its fantasy MMO Lord of the Rings Online last fall seems to have paid off for the company. In an interview on the TenTonHammer podcast, Turbine reps stated that since the switch from a subscription-only based business model, revenues for the game have tripled and player numbers have also increased.

Of course, Turbine, like most MMO developers, has not revealed what the actual revenue and player numbers are but if revenues have indeed tripled it seems like the switchover to free-to-play has been successful. Later this year another subscription-based MMO, Champions Online, will also move to the free-to-play business model.

Lord of the Rings Online: Rise of Isengard expansion announced

Lord of the Rings Online had a successful transition from subscription-based MMO to free-to-play game earlier this year. Today developer Turbine announced that the game would be getting a new expansion pack, Rise of Isengard, that would be released in the fall of 2011.

The expansion, which will be made available to purchase from the game's store, will continue the saga based on the J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy book trilogy as the good guy Rangers have to deal with Christopher Lee ... er, the evil wizard Saruman. The expansion will also feature a level cap increase to level 70 along with expanded monster play. You can check out more info on the expansion and the game's future at our sister site Massively.

Lord of the Rings Online doubles revenues since going free-to-play

Turbine's decision to make its fantasy MMO Lord of the Rings Online has apparently been a success so far. Our sister site Joystiq reports that during a panel at GDC Online this week, Turbine producer Kate Paiz revealed that the game has doubled its revenues since going the free-to-play route in early September.

In addition Turbine has signed on one million new player accounts for the game since the free-to-play switch over. Paiz also said that over 20 percent of former players have returned to the game thanks to the new free business model. In fact there has been a 400 percent increase in total active players in the game and Paiz claims there's even been an unnamed increase in the game's now optional paid subscriber base.

Lord of the Rings Online launches free-to-play era with funny TV ad

Today is the day that Turbine officially turns the page on Lord of the Rings Online, turning the subscriber exclusive fantasy MMO into a free-to-play game with subscription options. Turbine and publisher Warner Bros. Interactive clearly know that the J.R.R. Tolkien-themed game has a large mainstream audience. That's maybe why they decided to make a TV commercial for the game for the first time.

The TV ad, which you can see above, is meant to be funny, perhaps lifting some inspiration from Blizzard's World of Warcraft TV ads. The commercial will first be shown on Fox's Family Guy on Sunday although we wonder why Turbine didn't buy ads during this weekend's showing of the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy on TNT.

Download the Lord of the Rings Online TV ad at Big Download

Lord of the Rings Online free-to-play relaunch delayed in Europe

On Friday, Turbine will officially turn the lights on the relaunch of its fantasy MMO The Lord of the Rings Online as a free-to-play game here in the US. However folks across the pond will have to wait a bit longer to try the new versions of the game out.

Today the game's European publisher Codemasters announced that the free-to-play relaunch will be delayed in that part of the world, due to "the complexities and challenges faced in the preparation and implementation of the new store to work within our infrastructure." No new launch date for the game was announced. In addition to the switch to free-to-play, Lord of the Rings Online is getting a new content expansion.

Lord of the Rings Online trailer forges legendary heroes

Lord of the Rings Online has been chugging along quietly for years now, and its free-to-play update is finally upon us. At PAX, the developers gave con-goers a sample of the game as well as a fancy new trailer. While the trailer itself is fairly standard for MMOs (mixture of CGI and gameplay, typical sweeping statement), there's one major issue with it: the audio is mastered really poorly. Not a trailer to watch if you are sensitive to that kind of thing. Regardless, it's the same Lord of the Rings spiel, so you know what to expect.

Download HD Lord Of The Rings Online PAX 2010 Trailer
Check out all Lord Of The Rings Online downloads

Lord of the Rings Online goes free-to-play September 10 in US and Europe

After successfully relaunching Dungeons and Dragons Online as a free-to-play MMO in 2009, developer Turbine announced earlier this year it would do the same for Lord of the Rings Online. This morning Turbine announced that the game would officially switch over to the new free-to-play business model on September 10.

The change will happen on the same day in both in the US, where Turbine and its new owner Warner Brothers Interactive publish the game, and in Europe where Codemasters still handles the title. As with D&D Online the new Lord of the Rings Online will allow players to play the game for free with options to either buy new expansion packs and other content or continue to pay a monthly subscription with immediate access to most expansion content.

[Via email press release]

Rumor: Could Star Trek Online turn into a free-to-play game?

Turbine has had a big success with turning its MMO Dungeons and Dragons Online from a subscription-based exclusive game into a free-to-play title with optional micro-transaction and subscription support. The developer plans to do the same with Lord of the Rings Online later this year. Now a post on the official Star Trek Online forums hints that developer Cryptic Studios could do the same for its recent sci-fi MMO.

Responding to a fan's inquiry, the game's executive producer Daniel Stahl stated, "I could easily see STO going into a hybrid model similar to what Lotro is doing. In that model, subscriptions stay as is - but you allow people to play for free but heavily limit what they can do ..." He believes that model will allow new players to demo the game at no cost and then they can either pay for extra stuff via microtransactions or go with the more traditional subscription model. While Stahl doesn't flat out state that Star Trek Online will go that route the fact that he brings it up as a possiblity means that Cryptic might at least be considering such a move.

[Via Massively]

Lord of the Rings Online to go free-to-play beginning this fall

Developer Turbine took what many thought was a big risk in 2009 by turning their fantasy MMO Dungeons and Dragons Online from a subscription-based game to a free-to-play title. That move turned out to be highly successful so Turbine is doing it again with their other major MMO game Lord of the Rings Online which will move to a free-to-play business model this fall. This will be a worldwide move for the game with Codemasters handling the game's European side.

The move to a free-to-play model will be much like how D&D Online changed with Turbine letting folks play the main game for free with additional content (expansions, quest packs, items, etc) available via an in-game store for additional money. Players will still be able to access everything in the game with a subscription fee. Players who want to see what the new Lord of the Rings Online will be like can enter the beta program which will begin on June 16. When the game makes the transition to the free-to-play model it will also add some new content, including new starting areas, a new region to explore and more.

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