Saturday, April 07, 2007

Come One, Come All! Turbine Opens the Floodgates to LOTR: Online

Just a few pecks shy of "totally expected", Turbine announced today they're letting anyone and everyone play Lord of the Rings: Shadows of Angmar free until April 24th- the game's launch day.

In the monopolized world of MMORPGs, companies are finally figuring out they need more than just a big budget and screenshots to make an impact on the market. Giving players the option to play-test the game for free and determine if the game's worth the monthly subscription (or if you pre-order, the $199 lifetime fee- a bargain, I assure you) will likely be the new theme for upcoming MMOs. For the uninitiated, the past "first hit's free" deal was giving customers a free month of play.

LOTR Online seems to already be forming fan camps, with fantasy/comic fans on the bandwagon and everyone else remaining skeptical. The overall appeal of this game has yet to be seen, but the name alone should guarantee the game at least mediocre sales. What'll set this MMO apart is how it deals with questing, grinding, player professions, and most importantly, maintaining an engaging world and storyline (or, what its main competitors are shaky at). The developers have a huge platter of lore to work with, so let's hope for the best.

While we can't yet determine the success of this game, we can do the next best thing: load the game up and play it ourselves. Check it out before April 24th!

(Psst, I hear the download's pretty snappy (get to the download via the article's first link). People are reporting 1.5MB/s from Turbine's servers.)

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