Major MMO developer and co-publisher Turbine has announced that publisher Codemasters will distribute and operate the online service for Turbine's MMO The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar
Under the agreement, Codemasters will be responsible for the distribution, hosting, community management, technical support, and billing for the title, and positions the company alongside Midway, who are dealing
with the U.S. publishing and co-distribution for the Turbine-created title.
In fact, today's joint announcement follows Turbine's previous selection of Codemasters
to provide European support for Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach
. This continues Codemasters' move into the online distribution/publishing area, following the July 2005 set-up of Codemasters Online Gaming, a new division of the company focusing specifically on massively multiplayer online games and online casual games, and the signing of MMO titles such as noted Korean game RF Online
Turbine, on the other hand, has managed to garner significant venture capital funding
for its quest to be one of the top MMO firms, with $30 million in additional funding in May 2005, and, though its existing Asheron's Call
properties are largely niche titles, is hoping to break into a much larger market with both Dungeons & Dragons Online
, which has just shipped to U.S. and European stores, and The Lord Of The Rings Online
"Codemasters is thrilled to launch The Lord of the Rings Online
in Europe," said Rod Cousens, CEO of Codemasters. "The Lord of the Rings is the original source of so much of the fantasy entertainment today and Turbine is recreating the adventure and magic of Tolkien like no other."