Success Of Free D&D Online Leads To Free Lord Of The Rings Online, Too

from the good-to-see dept

Slashdot points us to the news that Turbine is now planning to offer their Lord of the Rings Online as free to play starting this fall. This follows last year's decision to turn Dungeons and Dragons online into a free offering, which actually resulted in a massive increase in revenue. Nice to see them expanding this to other areas.

What may be more interesting here is that this decision comes soon after Warner Bros. (the studio) bought Turbine. Warner Bros., as a movie studio, isn't exactly known for embracing "free," so it's nice to see that they're actually okay with expanding this program. Maybe they'll actually learn something to take back into the other parts of the business...


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    icon
    willowtree (profile), Jun 7th, 2010 @ 4:54am

    Defamation on Techdirt

    Dear Mr Masnick,
    I notice with great concern that my name has been used in a defamatory fashion in one of your articles. Could you please let me know how to have this matter resolved, since the article in question allowed commenting without moderation, and i find it hard to believe hoe this is allowed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    willowtree (profile), Jun 7th, 2010 @ 4:57am

    by the way mail me on aa0061432@gmail.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Poster, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 5:03am

    Re: Defamation on Techdirt

    1.) Shouldn't this sort of matter be handled via private correspondence, rather than through website comments?
    2.) It's hard for him to know what article your comment is concerning if you don't point to the actual article in question.
    3.) Commenting without moderation happens all the time on the Internet; after all, your comment got through here.

    On topic relating to the article: this is good for LotR Online fans.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    BearGriz72 (profile), Jun 7th, 2010 @ 5:09am

    Re: Defamation on Techdirt

    Joke/Sarcasm Fail?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    BearGriz72 (profile), Jun 7th, 2010 @ 5:13am

    On Topic

    Now if Only Activision/Blizzard would try this!
    (Not bloody likely though)

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 5:25am

    Re:

    No offense friend, but putting your email address online like this instead of sending him a direct communication (there is a place on the site to do that) is asking for a whole bunch of spam.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    P3T3R5ON (profile), Jun 7th, 2010 @ 5:44am

    free mmo's

    Free monthly play MMO's, what a concenpt!
    I hope it spreads....

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 6:09am

    Re: Re: Defamation on Techdirt

    This is why we all need to license the SarcMarkâ„¢. Help end sarcasm fail today! Think of the children!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 6:22am

    DDO and free to play

    I think WB's concerns about Free-To-Play are probably put to rest by the 500% increase in revenue[1]. Seriously, with the massive success of a near-dead MMO switching to free (and those numbers were probably bumped nicely just before/during the merger by special offers) it's not surprising that Turbines other not-doing-so-well MMO would switch to FTP. Personally, I've spend more on 'free' DDO than I ever would have in subscriptions. The model works really well. LOTRO is a very different game, so we'll see if a more traditional MMO shines or suffers.


    [1] http://www.massively.com/2010/02/26/one-million-new-adventurers-in-dungeons-and-dragons-online/

     

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  10.  
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    Richard (profile), Jun 7th, 2010 @ 6:41am

    Re: Defamation on Techdirt

    I notice with great concern that my name has been used in a defamatory fashion in one of your articles.

    I was not aware that this had happened - however I am now!

    As I don't know who you are I'm probably not bothered to find out about this so called "defamation" however if further comments are posted I can't guarantee that I will contain my curiosity for ever. By complaining about this (esp. in public) all you have succeeded in doing is drawing attention to it. Was this really your intention?

     

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  11.  
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    DataShade (profile), Jun 7th, 2010 @ 6:44am

    Re: DDO and free to play

    I'm actually concerned that pushing LoTRO free-to-play might be too greedy. DDO is a series of "social hubs" with self-contained, strictly delineated dungeons linked off of those hubs; the game breaks very well into a free "core" and separate, paid-for, "adventure packs."

    My experiences with LoTRO indicate that's not as easily translated into the same FTP model, which is pretty readily apparent when you look at the proposed, "beta" plan for the VIP (current subscriber)/Premium (former sub, or cash-purchaser)/Free tiers. LoTRO leaves a lot more limited, even at Premium, than DDO does. One of the big draws for DDO is that once you buy enough content, you're almost indistinguishable from a subscriber.

    LoTRO, not so much: gold? limited; chat? limited; auction? limited; mail? limited; crafting guild? limited; destiny points? limited.


    Let me be clear. I think this is going to be a success. However, I don't think WB/Turbine's going to come anywhere close to repeating their 500% miracle. The MMO market is pretty saturated when it comes to fantasy games, so hopefully "500% or more" is not the benchmark for success.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 6:50am

    DDO and free to play

    Conversely, it wouldn't surprise me one bit if WB exectutives are unaware of that portion of Turbiine's promotion where Lord of the Rings Online is given away free, and once they learn that, they shut it down regardless of the real or potential tangental revenue increase. I think the thought of "free" may scare them too much to consider any sort of new paradigm.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    willowtree, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 6:51am

    hi.
    tried sending comments thru the contact us section, under customer service or even general comments, but no one bothered to get back to me!!!
    1. Private correspondence??? To whom? if you have a (reliable) contact in techdirt, please let me know!!
    2. As for the post....That's why i gave an e-mail add, there are other things i would like to discuss about.
    3. AS for the junk mail....ever heard of filtering????

     

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  14.  
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    Liquid (profile), Jun 7th, 2010 @ 6:53am

    Concerns

    Knowing the size of these games are not the size of the ever popular World of Craft. How are they are they going to keep the servers/network up to date if all they are doing is getting paid off of micro purchases.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 7:04am

    "What may be more interesting here is that this decision comes soon after Warner Bros. (the studio) bought Turbine."

    Perhaps Turbine did it without the consent of Warner Bros?

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 7:09am

    Re:

    1. I've never had a problem going through the customer service portal. That's exactly what I meant. They're busy with a lot of things so you may have to give them a bit of time.
    2. Ok. I was just trying to be helpful.
    3. Yes, I have heard of filtering. It comes with most online mail services. It's not 100%, and it's no fun to invite it to happen.

    Again, I was just trying to be helpful. No need to be snarky in return. I'm not the one who slighted you (most likely at least), and the only affiliation I have with Techdirt is reading their articles. Please continue to identify yourself here so that I know not to try to be helpful to you in the future. Don't worry, it will never happen again.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 7:14am

    Re: Re: Defamation on Techdirt

    His intention is to find any excuse to file a lawsuit that will ultimately hinder free speech.

    Let me explain the difference between defamation and opinion.

    If willowtree said the above and I gave my opinion that this is his intention, that's not defamation. I am looking at the available evidence, the same evidence that everyone else has, and am concluding something based on that evidence, not based on something I know to be false. The key here is that I think that what I'm saying is true, I'm not spreading rumors that I know to be false. Now if I said that willowtree personally admitted to me that this was his intention and this is not true and I know better, that would be defamation.

    For instance, say I looked at all the facts in a case and said that X killed his/her spouse. but someone else looked at the same facts in the case and said s/he didn't. Say s/he didn't and was found not guilty but I continued to say that the trial was in error and s/he should have been found guilty. Did anyone defame this person? No. We are all looking at the same facts and drawing different conclusions and we are giving our honest opinion on the matter.

    Defamation would be if I falsely claimed this person admit to me that this person killed his/her spouse and I knew better. Or if I claim to have saw this person kill his/her spouse when I did not and knew better. Or if I claim to have saw this person in close vicinity to the crime scene during the night of the murder when I knew that s/he was miles away (now claiming that I saw this person miles away when I knew they were in the same room as the person s/he murdered at the night of the murder could be an obstruction of justice). See the difference?

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 7:20am

    Re: Re:

    He could of at least put spaces in his E - Mail address or some abstraction that he could have textually clarified to prevent spambots from spamming him. Idiot. Oops, I musta just defamed him. BTW, where is this first alleged defamation this person speaks of?

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 7:26am

    Re: Defamation on Techdirt

    Also, you do know that you complaining about this will probably wind up with your true identity being revealed to all the Internet and tons of bad press on you whether you like it or not. Just thought you should be aware. Your best course of action, keep silent and don't draw more attention to yourself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    WammerJammer (profile), Jun 7th, 2010 @ 7:37am

    Good deal.

    It's free with a basic weapon, set of Skills and little if any resources. To outfit yourself to play the game properly is a huge investment. Also this gets rid of the lawsuits about the customer losing their items they paid for in the game if they lose their account for any reason. Great! Now you never lose your account. Proper product placement for advertising revenue and the sale of in-game objects has the potential to be huge. They finally got hip to the business model that works on the internet. See, even large companies can figure it out.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Hoeppner, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 7:44am

    Re: Re: Defamation on Techdirt

    Actually MMO fans are very finicky lot. They'll lose 10% to 15% of their player base by going free, even if they'll make it up insanely fast.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 8:21am

    Hopefully people who paid for their lifetime subscriptions get unlimited VIP access, or else Turbine pulled this mess just as people were going to be making the most of their money from them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 8:23am

    Re:

    and spam filters often filter legitimate E - Mails as well and imperfect. Spammers make an effort to circumvent the spam filter whereas legitimate E - Mailers generally do no such thing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 8:24am

    Re: Re:

    and are imperfect *

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
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    chris (profile), Jun 7th, 2010 @ 8:29am

    Re: Re:

    No offense friend, but putting your email address online like this instead of sending him a direct communication (there is a place on the site to do that) is asking for a whole bunch of spam.

    if that address is valid it's obviously disposable.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 9:49am

    Hopefully they'll have the intelligence not to partner with a bunch of gold selling account hacks like ddo did recently.

    Nothing says we love our customers like installing malware and stealing log in credentials for other games.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Pixelation, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 11:15am

    Laugh riot

    "Maybe they'll actually learn something to take back into the other parts of the business..."

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Now that is the funniest thing you have ever written, Mike.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
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    MarksAngel (profile), Jun 7th, 2010 @ 12:12pm

    LOTRO Subscribers are actually making at out pretty good. If you have a look at this forum post Here

    Subscribers & Lifetime subscibers get to keep everything they already have plus we get free content updates, as well as 500 points a month to spend in the turbine store for free. Lifetimer's get it without having to pay the monthly subsciption free essentially LOTRO is paying them 500 turbine points a month to play a game they already play. Pretty sweet if you ask me.

    As far as LOTRO dying it's actually doing quit well Turbine already had this in the works before WB bought them.The acquisition just went through & The beta starts on the 16th you don't develop a beta client in a matter of a months time.

    Also you might wanna check out the interview with turbine Here

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
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    Phillip Vector (profile), Jun 7th, 2010 @ 2:20pm

    Re: Re:

    He's not your friend, guy.

     

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  30.  
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    Tom Landry (profile), Jun 7th, 2010 @ 4:29pm

    Japanese MMO's have been using the free model for years. Evidently Western developers feel that their player base will view the game as "devalued" if they don't charge an initial price (say, the same as any AAA game that is NOT an MMO).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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