Free MMORPG & Free MMOs

Lord of the Rings Going Free to Play

Posted on: June 5, 2010

Who would have guessed that turbine’s most successful game The Lord of the Rings Online would go free to play? I first read a rumor that Lord of the Rings would go Free to Play back in October 2009, but I didn’t believe a word of it because the game was so profitable for turbine. It wouldn’t have made sense for them to make it free to play. But boy was I wrong. That one rumor I read and linked to above, actually called this TO THE MONTH, as they said something like Lord of the Rings Online from Turbine would go free to play next year, and they posted this October, 2009. LOTRO is set to go free to play in “Fall 2010”. That’s pretty darn accurate if you ask me.

On a side note, it makes a lot of business sense for the game to go free to play. After all, Dungeons and Dragons Online from the same company was a huge success after it went free to play. Turbine said they increased revenues something like 10 fold since going free to play. On the topic of pay to play games going free to play, there have been many games now that used to be pay to play, but are now free to play. Games like RF Online and Archlord both used to be pay to play for a while, but relaunched as free to play. I don’t know how successful these games are as free to play, but its awesome that instead of shutting down like Tabula Rasa did, these MMOs are still available as free to play games. On a side note, Tabula Rasa should have went free to play instead of closing. Maybe it would have enjoyed the same success dungeons and dragons Online did. Who knows. Few other games that used to be pay to play but are now free to play are Anarchy Online, Savage 2 and Fusion Fall.

I’m a big fan of free to play and I hope Warhammer Online as well as Pirates of the Burning Sea will go free to play one day. I mean, these second rate World of Warcraft competitors NEED to go free to play to stay competitive. This is especially true for MMOs like Ultima Online, Dark Age of Camelot and Champions Online which are slowly losing subscriptions. Heck Lineage 2 is getting a bit old now too and should go free to play. I think Lineage 2 is already free to play in Russia, so it may the first out of this list to go free to play everywhere. I wouldn’t be surprised if Warhammer and Ultima Online go free to play, as Electronic Arts has been slowly embracing the entire free to play genre, as they’ve already released numerous free to play titles including FIFA Online, Battleforge, Battlefield Heroes and Lord of Ultima.

Time will tell if Lord of the Rings will have success as a free to play game. I strongly believe it will.

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June 2010
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