We are finally able to let the cat out of the bag! Turbine announced today that it will invite 1 million players to try out its “Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar” game for free. TheOneRing will have a limited number of keys to give away so expect further details and further coverage of the game all week.

WESTWOOD, MA and CHICAGO, IL Turbine, Inc. and Midway Games Inc. (NYSE: MWY) announced a massive, free “World Tour of Middle-earth” available to players throughout North America. Over one million players are planned to be invited into The Lord of the Rings Online(tm): Shadows of Angmar(tm), the most complete and authentic massively multiplayer online (MMO) world based upon the famous Books of J.R.R. Tolkien. The World Tour of Middle-earth is scheduled to begin on April 6th and continue until the anticipated launch of the game on April 24th.

“We decided to launch the World Tour of Middle-earth because of the overwhelming demand from players to get into the closed beta,” said Jeffrey Anderson, President and CEO of Turbine, Inc.

“We expect the World Tour of Middle-earth to be a spectacular event like nothing that you’ve ever seen before.”

Free access to this hotly anticipated game combined with the staggering size and scale of the World Tour of Middle-earth make this an unprecedented event in the MMO industry. Players can pre-order the game at select retail stores nationwide or here and start their adventures in Middle-earth beginning on March 30th.

Advancement in the game will be capped at level 15 which will give players a great opportunity to experience the most authentic online persistent recreation of Middle-earth ever made. Players should visit www.lotro.com/worldtour” to get more information on how to obtain a World Tour key. (Psst – MrCere here again. In addition to the information linked there, TORn will be giving away a few keys as well, look for details soon. Now back to your regularly scheduled press release)

The Lord of the Rings Online is the first and only massively multiplayer online role-playing game based upon the Books of J.R.R. Tolkien. The game recreates the vast world of Middle-earth with incredible dedication to the lore with an unprecedented level of detail. The game delivers an experience that takes players beyond the Books to where they can create their own story within the most famous fantasy world of all time. For more information, please visit .