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Reader Comments (23)

Posted: Oct 8th 2010 10:13AM Holgranth said

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The big question will be the long term stability. Is this just a boom and bust or in this going to be here for a long time to come? Nonetheless I'm impressed. I thought they would do well but not that well.

Posted: Oct 8th 2010 10:40AM aurickle said

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When F2P started we saw a huge influx of entirely new players. As the month since has progressed we've seen this settle out quite a bit. There are still new people coming to check out the game, but not the numbers that there had been.

On the other hand, my kinship is split pretty evenly between people who've been playing for a long time, people who had played and have now been brought back, and people who were enticed in by the F2P and have decided to stick around. A few in the latter two categories have converted to VIP, but most of them are sticking with the Premium option. (I don't think any have stayed fully F2P.)

Among the Freemium crowd in the kinship, not one is unhappy with the model. Nor do they feel like they're being nickeled and dimed to death. In fact, they are typically spending quite a bit less than $15 a month and are perfectly happy with that.

In short, LotRO has tapped a new revenue stream. Less is being made per person, but 75%, 50% or even 25% of $15 a month is still more than nothing. If Turbine can manage to release new content 4-6 times per year like they're hoping I don't see any reason why these many additional players won't stick around. With the improved profitability they're seeing, I don't see why that won't happen.

Good things for the future of Middle Earth.
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Posted: Oct 8th 2010 11:28AM WriterGuy said

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From the company's view, so what if the boom turned to bust? They'd still have had the boom. And they can always tweak the pay plans for a new model if this one starts to die.
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Posted: Oct 8th 2010 10:18AM Dranaerys said

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amazing news, props to Turbine for continuing the great work they did with the DDO model and doing P2P they way its meant to be done.

Other devs and publishers would eb wise study this model well (Gpotato/Allods, Im looking at you) and benefit from it. Turns out if you dont totally gimp your game with a cash shop and try to gouge every last penny out of your playerbase, and offer decent content instead, hey, who would have thunk it, people actually DO buy shit.

I wish I could join in on the Lotro fun, but as usual Codemasters havent got their shit together yet and the F2P model has yet to be launched in EU.

Posted: Oct 8th 2010 1:55PM cic said

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Totally... If Allods changed their game mechanics and had this payment model they would have my $$$ in no time.
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Posted: Oct 8th 2010 10:27AM ScottishViking said

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Pretty cool stuff.

*waits for F2P-flames*

Posted: Oct 8th 2010 10:30AM (Unverified) said

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SERIOUSLY, Why is there no coverage or info on why Europe hasn't got f2p model yet?

There has been nothing but silence on the issue from everyone, including yourselves Massively

Posted: Oct 10th 2010 11:19AM Neverwinter said

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When there is no money shortage no one really care my friend.
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Posted: Oct 8th 2010 11:18AM Callagan said

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Don't know for sure, but I'd bet Codemasters distributes LOTRO in the EU, like they do (did? I'm not sure if Turbine took them out of the equation) for DDO. And it took them FOREVER to bring the DDO change over.
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Posted: Oct 8th 2010 3:28PM Omali said

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@Reagus:

I do weekly updates on the European transition for Codemasters on my website (mmofallout.com), but I understand why there hasn't been much coverage from other news sources. There isn't much story in their weekly forum updates of "sorry, we have no information or date to give you. It'll be somewhere between a few weeks and more than that."

@Callagan:

Codemasters published (and hosted servers) for Dungeons and Dragons Online, and the game didn't go free to play until Turbine ended their partnership and started hosting DDO themselves. I have a feeling Codemasters rejected the move for Dungeons and Dragons, and Turbine responded by saying "alright, we're not renewing your license to host." Seeing the boost that Dungeons and Dragons Online received, Codemasters would be daft to not continue hosting Lord of the Rings Online, even if they'd (presumably) screwed up their chances the first time. Fool me once, shame on you, as it goes.
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Posted: Oct 8th 2010 4:31PM Misterlee said

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Welll I've said it before and I'll say it again, Codemasters are a pile of $hit as a publisher and have been pathetic at supporting LotRO in Europe. They're a joke and the sooner Turbine pull the plug on them the better.

Nice to see the game doing well in other regions though :)
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Posted: Oct 8th 2010 10:34AM (Unverified) said

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Glad to see it is working even better than they hoped. I hope it does as well as DDO seems to be.

I'm one of those returning players, it feels like a much better game in ways but still retains the old Lotro charm that I enjoyed before.

Posted: Oct 8th 2010 10:37AM Ocho said

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Oh no! F2P is the end of the world! This game is destined to fail because of it now! I'll never be able to enjoy the sunset or the taste of ice cream again!!!! /sarcasm

Good job, Turbine. I am throughly enjoying my F2P stint back in middle earth and plan on keeping it up now that I can without a dedicated sub.

Posted: Oct 8th 2010 10:40AM gildhur said

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I'd love to get more details of what she said about future updates. The next instance cluster/raid was supposed to be in Book 3, so are we not getting that until "early 2011"?

Posted: Oct 8th 2010 1:19PM (Unverified) said

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This sounds interessting. But the Question in eurpoe is: why we donĀ“t get F2P! What ist the Problem?

Posted: Oct 8th 2010 10:57AM ed511df3 said

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So lotro makes big waves in the industry with its implementation of f2p, while EQ2 barely got a splash with its own. Turbine shows that keeping your community together, even though it might cause a few dissenting voices in the beginning, causes the community to grow. Sony shows that if you listen to the dissenters in the minority, it may hurt your community in the long term.

I hope that Sony is seriously taking notes. While the EQ2 extended server is populated, it's definitely not where it should be.

Posted: Oct 8th 2010 11:02AM Birk said

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Props to Turbine; no small feat! The game is immensely enjoyable, in case anyone is sitting on the fence. I have a super high workload now, and was taking some time off of MMO's when LOTRO went F2P. For giggles, I downloaded it, assuming I would only play for an hour or so.

Well...I'm still here. And -loving- it.

The joy of the game is in:

1) Taking your time
2) Smelling the roses
3) Meeting new folks
4) The atmosphere. Oh my god. SO good.

-Birk

Posted: Oct 8th 2010 11:04AM WriterGuy said

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The DDO numbers at last year's GDC showed subscribers were expected to pay 175% lifetime over what they paid under the old (pre-F2P) model. Roughly 20% of subscribers and F2P bought something from the DDO cash shop.

This article says more than 50% of LOTRO players are buying. Both LOTRO now and DDO's 2009 figures show the top 10 store moneymakers aren't cosmetics.

With those figures and Gordon Walton of BioWare Austin being for anything which brings in revenue (read his GDC interview at ZAM) there is no need to speculate: Welcome to the SW:TOR store.

Posted: Oct 8th 2010 11:18AM Lenn said

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This is good news indeed.

But, as stated by a few others above, where's the digging for news when it comes to Codemasters' failure to implement f2p in Europe? I've been reading this site for a while now (first time poster, though) and I generally enjoy it very much, but there's a definite bias towards the US.

The European LotRO forums have been buzzing with conspiracy theories concerning the delay for weeks. Although most are ridiculous and mere attempts at trolling, a few of the theories actually hold water, when you think about them logically. I would think there's quite the news story to be uncovered here.

Posted: Oct 8th 2010 11:21AM Tom in VA said

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I am really happy for LotRO/Turbine that the switch to F2P has paid off so well.

Even though I haven't returned to the game (travel in LotRO is too frustrating and I still do not like Moria at all, alas), LotRO is a good, solid game and it deserves to prosper.

My hope is that other games (STO, in particular) will sit up and take notice of Turbine's success here.

I'm guessing they will. :-)

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