LOTRO goes Free2Play

Article on the LOTRO.com homepage: http://www.lotro.com/news/709-announcing-the-lord-of-the-rings-onlines-move-to-free-to-play-

The free mmorpg genre comes to Lord of the Rings Online this fall.  No credit card required.  The game will be free to download, and free to play and all players will have access to the LOTRO store.

Existing payers will be upgraded to VIP (and unlimited access).  Noticeable advantages for VIP versus Premium and Free players listed on the FAQ.

Is this a good thing?  We all know that free to play isn’t really free since you get limited features/content for any status less than VIP players.  Peer pressure, tons of promotions/events and other teasers may have you whipping out your wallet faster than you think.  But if you’re fine with venturing into the LOTR world as a free player with its limitations, then of course this is a good thing!

The author for one believes this is a great move for LOTRO since it may topple WoW’s (subscriber-based) mmorpg domination.  It may also create some spill-over from the mainstream mmorpg leaders like WoW, GW and LOTRO and expose potential players to other free mmos like Shaiya, LC or Kingdom Heroes, which have proven their own worth in the mmorpg genre in recent years.

Still, LOTRO – as a proven franchise of literature, media, and growing symbol of global online/offline popular culture – will still have to contend with satisfying its customers in-game.  It will also be interesting to see how the loss in revenue from monthly subscriptions will affect LOTRO’s ability to effectively manage its operations while at the same time continue to crank out content and assess technical issues.

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3 Responses to LOTRO goes Free2Play

  1. Another mmo to fill my studio apartment with that familiar monitor glow all hours of the night.
    But what about the game itself? Aside from separating the content into tiers of VIP, Premium and Free players, will the LOTRO teams do anything about making the game just better?
    I wonder how many new (free) players sign up this fall only to realize, “WTF, I thought I’d get so much more!” More than that, I want to know how many former paying players switch to another game after seeing their servers flooded with free players asking every 2 seconds, “What’s a Ring Wraith and where can I buy one?” or “Wewt, wewt, All your base! Wewt!”
    To me, this changes nothing and until I can turn my Christmas money into a few tokes of Old Toby and a Nazgûl swimsuit calender, I’ll stay away from LOTRO.

  2. well, haven’t really played a lot of mmorpgs but i have seen them and i think this will be pretty good, making the game free and adding a item store seems like it would attract a lot of gamers…maybe ^^

  3. WafflesXd says:

    I’m not really into the LOTRO or the Wow crowd so i dont really know, but i guess its better to be a real mmorpg with the item mall and everything ^^

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