Regarding Turbine’s revelation that Lord of the Rings Online is going to go free to play this fall, I am late to the party as always – particularly so because I am not yet completely certain of my feelings on the matter. A summary of other bloggers’ thoughts can be found here, with most weighing in as optimistically apprehensive to positive in outlook. My thoughts on the change are that this is a good move for Turbine and MMOs in general; as a fan of free to play titles and a cheerleader for the Guild Wars franchise, this is a no-brainer for me. I do not buy the story that subscriptions are necessary for either server maintenance or continued content updates, so if Turbine (or the Warner hand that is guiding it) feels that a change in business model will bring more people to the title, I think it’s well worth the attempt.
LOTRO was supposedly already free to play for me because I bought a lifetime subscription over two years ago. However, due to that purchase, I have actually paid approximately $46/mo for my playtime, as I discovered too late that the game is not at all to my taste. I would have benefited from this model springing into play a little sooner, but I am determined to find a way to make use of the Turbine points I will be accumulating as a lifetime member, perhaps to buy a Warden and make one last attempt to pass through Middle Earth, if only just to say I’d been there.
Whether or not I am or ever was a fan of Turbine’s games, as champion of the growing free to play family, I must admit that it’s nice to see another game enter the fold. Come on in – the water’s fine!