F2P The Lord of the Rings Online Begins September 10

Turbine Entertainment dropped us a line today to clarify the release date for free-to-play The Lord of the Rings Online.  Turbine’s other white meat will be making the move on September 10, 2010.

Announced in early June, LotRO is following its former red-headed stepbrother into the freemium business model.  Turbine Entertainment and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment are hopeful that LotRO can recreate the waterfall of money poured on when Dungeons & Dragons Online went freemium.  A move that was a last ditch effort to save the MMORPG.  Turbine’s “final fantasy” dramatically increased DDO’s subscriber base with the DDO cash shop raking in additional dough.  Its success lead directly to LotRO’s new business model, despite the game having healthy subscriber numbers.  Sony Online Entertainment is attempting to join the money train by creating a new EverQuest II payment option and server structure.

Turbine hasn’t been burning the extra money or using it as toilet paper, at least not all of it.  The company has invested its profits into DDO’s development to rapidly produce new content packs and even television commercials.  Case in point, Update 6 just went live, and we’ll see Update 7 in a few weeks at PAX Prime.

Hit the jump to check out the latest screens.

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