Turbine has just announced that, come this autumn, major MMORPG Lord of the Rings Online will be free to play. The game will be demoed in its free-to-play version at this year’s E3, and players wishing to get a “sneak peak” can sign up to participate in the beta program, which begins on 16th June. This excerpt from the press release explains more:
Launching this fall across North America and Europe, with Codemasters operating the game free-to-play in Europe, LOTRO will introduce Turbine’s innovative new pricing model that allows players to download the game and play for free, purchase expansions, quest packs, items, and account services a la carte from the new LOTRO Store, or join the VIP program to get unlimited access to all of the game’s content for one low price.
Lord of the Rings Online is not the first game that Turbine has begun to operate free to play, with Dungeons & Dragons Online making a similar shift from subscription-based to free to play in September of last year. By all accounts, DDO has become more popular since the change, so this may be the beginning of a new golden age for LOTRO, provided the LOTRO Store isn’t too exorbitant. I don’t know about you, but I’m excited about the chance to return to Middle-earth without a subscription to weigh me down!