As noted over at Massively, the announcement about Lord of the Rings Online moving to a Free to Play business model this Fall has certainly gotten the game a lot more attention than it has had in a long time.
Meanwhile, over at MassiveBlips, where they track the popularity of tags/categories used on the various gaming blogs, Lord of the Rings Online has shot up to fourth place.
Fourth place might not seem that great until you see that the first three places are held by World of Warcraft, Cataclysm, and Blizzard. WoW gets so many stories that it has its own sub-site, WoWBlips.
Beating out Star Wars: The Old Republic does seem reasonably impressive, given the ongoing press campaign that EA has been waging.
The question that comes to my mind is whether Turbine will get this much attention when the game actually makes the transition to Free to Play.
The shock of the announcement has passed. Those who were outraged seem unlikely to sustain that rage until the Fall. I am not sure, for example, that Keen will revisit his stance on the subject. (Epic comment thread though!)
Others with a stake in the game will know how they have fared and be happy or dismayed at some point between now and the change over.
I have seen a few comments from people wishing that LOTRO was Free to Play right now. I wonder if Turbine feels the same way, given the attention they have received.
The next big news about this transition will likely be a declaration of success from Turbine at some point after the transition, at which point the debate over this business model, and what other games should think about pursuing it, will likely surface again.