Oh Look, By Making LoTR Free Online, Revenue Shot Up

from the gee,-who-coulda-predicted-that? dept

About a year ago, we highlighted how the online MMO based on Dungeons and Dragons had gone free after trying to charge for a while, and showed how going free didn't mean you lost money, but it could work well as a part of a business model. And, indeed, reports from earlier this year showed that revenue had increased 500% for the "free" game -- once again highlighting how "free" does not mean "no money." In fact, the success of this free effort was so well received that Turbine's owners agreed to let them open up the Lord of the Rings MMO as well.

And, as a whole bunch of you have been submitting, once again, it looks like, by going free, they've been able to make a lot more money. In just a few months, they've doubled their revenue by embracing free. The game is now free to play, and so a lot more people are playing -- and many of them are choosing to then pay for certain additional offerings within the game. Once again, the point is the same, if you recognize where and how free fits into your business model, you can make a lot more money. No one is saying that everything is free or that anyone should stop making money. It's all about understanding the economics of how to use free to create a more efficient market to make more money.
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Filed Under: business models, free, lotr, mmo
Companies: turbine


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  1. identicon
    Old EQ Player, 12 Oct 2010 @ 3:51am

    Pay model still exists, madness.

    I have stopped playing Everquest when the level cap was 70.
    Several years ago.
    I had a level 70 Wizard & Beastlord. It took me 3 years to build these characters up, the leveling was so slow & I had only a limited amount of time in which to play, Family, Friends & work always came first.
    I quit because I realised just how little I was getting from the game in terms of real life advantages in the real world.

    I still have 1 friend who still plays it. His hours of play are about 5 YEARS out of the 8 or so EQ has been around.
    No surprises then that hes single - no job, 37 & lives with his mum.

    When I visit him he is always on a raid & has very little time for me while I'm there.

    So I re-activated my account for a month just to see if the game still had any interest to me. My friend invited me into his guild which lead me to a raid that night.
    I arrived at the raid meeting point then spent 3 hrs waiting on everyone showing up, getting ready etc...
    I sat there numb watching everyone floating up & down in levitate spells. It all came back to me in a rush.

    It was like watching a film you have seen a million times but never really liked. I found the blank wall next to my monitor more interesting to stare at.

    Finally the raid got underway... 10mins later 60+ dead people & a promise of another 3 hr wait while everyone recovers....

    I logged off. Deleted the EQ folder, snapped the disks & felt so much better for it.

    Never ever ever ever again. NeverQuest.

    Guild wars rocked as I could log in play a good game no matter what level I was, then not play it again for months without falling behind my friends so badly that it was a problem.

    Guild wars 2 - promises a blend of the original GW & current style MMO's like WOW. Free to play - and most importantly no need to get 30hrs a week in just to be cool.

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