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Turbine: Lord of the Rings Online Revenues Tripled As Free-To-Play Game

Turbine's massively-multiplayer Lord of the Rings Online is bringing in three times as much revenue as a free-to-play title than it did as a subscription-based title, the company has revealed.
Turbine's massively-multiplayer Lord of the Rings Online is bringing in three times as much revenue as a free-to-play title than it did as a subscription-based title, the company has revealed. Turbine Director of Communications Adam Mersky mentioned the revenue increase in an interview with the TenTonHammer podcast, where he compared the results to those for Turbine's Dungeons and Dragons Online. That title saw revenue increase 500 percent shortly after it went free-to-play in 2009. In the same TenTonHammer podcast, Executive Producer Kate Paiz also pointed out that the free-to-play revenue model has increased the player population and level of activity in the game world. "We are super-pleased with how so many of our players have responded fantastically," said Executive Producer Kate Paiz. "We're getting so many new players in and the world feels alive and vibrant." "This really echoes a lot of what we've seen throughout the entertainment industry in general," she continued. "It's really about letting players make their choices about how they play. People are like 'I own my choices. You give me the power and I'll decide if you're cool enough for me.'" Lord of the Rings Online switched to a free-to-play model last September, after launching in April 2007 as a $50 disc with a $15 monthly subscription. Just one month later, revenues for the title had already doubled, Paiz said in a GDC Online panel, and that increasing revenue trend has apparently continued since. In its current form, Lord of the Rings Online players can purchase a la carte quest packs and items to expand the core free-to-play game, or purchase a monthly VIP subscription for unlimited content.

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