WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT LAUNCHES THE LORD OF THE RINGS ONLINE™ WITH FREE-TO-PLAY MODEL
Turbine’s Award-winning Hit Online Game Goes Free-to-Play Today in North America
BURBANK, CA – September 10, 2010 – Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced today that Turbine’s The Lord of the Rings Online™ (LOTRO) is now free-to-play for players across North America. Launching today, players can now download LOTRO at www.lotro.com and join with millions of other adventurers as they explore the most complete and authentic recreation of Middle-earth ever created and participate in LOTRO’s award-winning story up to level 50 for free. Players can also choose to visit the new LOTRO Store to purchase expansions, quest packs, items, and account services a la carte, or join the VIP program that provides unlimited access to the game for one low monthly price.
This major update will also extend the game’s epic story and expand the world of Middle-earth with the new region of Enedwaith while continuing to deliver state-of-the-art graphics and gameplay, as well as a rich set of features that until now could only be found in premium subscription-based online games.
“We are continuing to expand the market by offering LOTRO free-to-play and providing players with a choice in how they experience premium online entertainment,” said Martin Tremblay, President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “Today’s launch allows gamers to play one of the world’s best online games completely free while letting core LOTRO fans dive deeper into the game as they choose.”
“Turbine’s innovative pricing model, first introduced last year with Dungeons & Dragons Online®: Eberron Unlimited™, has become a proven success with over two new million registrations since going free-to-play,” said Kate Paiz, Executive Producer of LOTRO. “We expect LOTRO’s free-to-play launch will only continue to increase the player base and catapult the game to new heights of success.”
Highlights of the latest update to LOTRO include:
- Volume III, Book 2: The Ride of the Grey Company — Having sworn to protect the heirs of Isildur, the Dúnedain responded with all haste to the urgent message from Elrond. Players will join the newly-formed Grey Company in Rivendell as they depart on their journey far from the relative safety of that hidden valley into the new region of Enedwaith. Book 2 consists of fifteen solo-able chapters full of exploration, exciting combat and a healthy dose of mystery.
- The LOTRO Store is Now Open for Business! — The LOTRO Store is loaded with thousands of convenience items as well as expansion packs, premium content, additional character slots, potions, character customization and more. The LOTRO Store is seamlessly integrated into the game and lets the player identify new and exciting ways to enhance and customize their experience, using Turbine Points which can be purchased in the Store or earned through gameplay.
- The Return of the Harvest Festival — When the days shorten and the nights begin to cool, it’s time to celebrate the bounty of the harvest. All the races of Middle-earth celebrate this time and gather at the Bree festival grounds for the Harvestmath events that include bobbing for apples, pumpkin picking and much more. This year’s festival features a brand new event located in the new Haunted Burrow, a haunted hobbit Fun-house!
- And Much More! – This latest update also introduces the Wardrobe, a new storage system for cosmetic items that’s available for free to VIP players or can be purchased a la carte from the LOTRO Store, an updated character creation system, a revamped new player experience, the update and addition of “classic” instances featuring repeatable, scalable content, and much more!
The Lord of the Rings Online is the ultimate adventure. This award-winning massively multiplayer online role-playing game delivers an interactive experience brimming with life and filled with the familiar people, places and monsters from the most famous fantasy of all time. From the picturesque surroundings of the Shire to Moria, the most fearsome underground realm ever imagined, players will experience the world of Middle-earth for free! For more information, visit www.lotro.com.
Turbine, Inc. is a premier creator and operator of massive, persistent online worlds that foster powerful social gaming communities. Turbine is wholly owned by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group and has created some of the world’s most popular and award-winning online games, including The Lord of the Rings Online™, Dungeons & Dragons Online®: Eberron Unlimited™, and Asheron’s Call®. For more information on Turbine, its products and services please visit www.turbine.com.
About Middle-earth Enterprises
The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Middle-earth Enterprises f/k/a Tolkien Enterprises (SZC), is the holder of worldwide motion picture, legitimate stage, merchandising, and other rights in the literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien including The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. SZC has been producing and licensing films, stage productions and merchandise based on the Tolkien works for more than 30 years. Its headquarters are located in Berkeley, California and its Middle-earth Enterprises website may be found at www.middleearth.com.
About Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, a division of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, is a premier worldwide publisher, developer, licensor and distributor of entertainment content for the interactive space across all current and future platforms, including console, handheld and PC-based gaming for both internal and third party game titles.
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THE LORD OF THE RINGS ONLINE™ interactive video game © 2010 Turbine, Inc. and patents pending. All rights reserved. Middle-earth Poster Map © 2007 The Saul Zaentz Company, d/b/a Middle-earth Enterprises f/k/a Tolkien Enterprises (SZC), under license to Turbine, Inc. All rights reserved. “The Lord of the Rings Online”, “Siege of Mirkwood”, Middle-earth Enterprises logo, “The Lord of the Rings” and the names of the characters, events, items and places therein are trademarks or registered trademarks of SZC under license to Turbine, Inc. Turbine and the Turbine logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Turbine, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other jurisdictions. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.