LOTRO: Getting Attention… for Now

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.

June 11 Tag Ranking

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.

4 thoughts on “LOTRO: Getting Attention… for Now

  1. Stabs

    I think there will be just as much interest when F2P Lotro launches. There’s a lot riding on this for the whole industry. If Lotro sees the kind of rampant success that DDO did then everyone else, including WoW, will be thinking about following suit.

    Just suppose WoW’s yearly churn is approximately equal to its player base. By Cataclysm that means about 60 million people will be current or former WoW players. A great many of them would log in for free WoW and the cash shop system is proven to be very good at monetising people who thought they’d just play for free.

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  2. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    Lots of press now, but I wonder what they have in the bag for the big kick-off in the fall. I agree with Stabs that there will be interest, but it will be primarily in the success/fail of the change, not something you’ll know on day one.

    And my mind goes back to this quote:

    For fortune strums a mournful tune
    For those whose campaigns peak too soon.
    -Stomper, Bored of the Rings

    They have had a big peak in attention over the last week or so, what can they/will they do to get that sort of reaction again in the Fall?

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  3. SynCaine

    I think a good amount of that buzz was more around a (seemingly) successful sub-based MMO going F2P, rather than with LotRO itself. If we assume LotRO was making money, this would be the first time a successful game is actually going F2P, where before only failures had that distinct honor. There is a lot to consider and talk about with the move, and very little of it has to do with the actual gameplay/enjoyment of LotRO itself.

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