I have talked about Lord of the Rings Online before when I was in not such a great mood (and rightfully so). Since then, however, I have held out on the hope that Turbine would turn around development and return to the direction they were first moving when LotRo was first launched. I don’t know why; it must just be the Tolkien fan in me that insists on the hope that a developer with the intellectual property rights for the greatest fantasy novel written by man can pull through by (mostly) respecting the lore and continuing development from that aspect alone.
However I’m not entirely sure if that’s even possible these days. Turbine seems to be hurting more than usual, and the signs seem pretty clear. Dungeon & Dragons Online, Turbine’s other MMO, is now free-to-play. Completely. Instead they’ve added an RMT market much like what Korean MMOs have set up as a norm. I’ve played DDO and I personally did not find anything worth staying for, and apparently this was the case for a number of other people as well when the MMO turned to borrowed time.
It’s clear that Turbine will not find its riches in that direction. Instead it still lies with LotRo, an MMO that continues to garner attention as a “nice MMO” or a “refreshing breath” of other MMOs on today’s market. I can’t really speak on what LotRo is and isn’t, for it is for every person to decide that for their selves, but what LotRo truly is is Turbine’s last hope. I’ve been down this dark road before when a company is on the edge and is betting it all on black. Unfortunately I still don’t think Turbine’s heart is in its endeavor to try and win. In this case, the prize is its customers. Read more of this post