Lord of the Rings Online to go free to play on September 10th

by: Chuck -
Starting September 16th, Turbine's MMO Lord of the Rings Online will shift to a free to play model.  The game will be completely free with users paying for things like extra quest packs, expansions, extra character slots and a bevy of other little things.  The skinflints among us will be able to play without spending any money but the pay options are there for those who want it.

Is this something that's going to get you to play the game or are you still going to get your fix someplace else?  Let us know in the comments.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Warner bros. interactive entertainment ANNOUNCES the lord of the rings online™ will be free to play Starting September 10, 2010

Turbine and Codemasters to Release Free-to-Play Version of Award-winning Online Game Across North America and Europe

WESTWOOD, MA – August 18, 2010 – Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced today that Turbine’s The Lord of the Rings Online™ (LOTRO) will introduce its innovative new pricing model, allowing players to download the game and play for free and purchase expansions, quest packs, items, and account services a la carte from the new LOTRO Store starting September 10, 2010.

Extending its award-winning story, LOTRO delivers the ultimate adventure featuring the massive world of Middle-earth brought to life through state-of-the-art graphics and gameplay, and a rich set of features that until now could only be found in premium subscription-based online games.

“Our LOTRO beta program has been a huge success and we want to thank all of our players who worked with us to get the game ready for launch,” said Kate Paiz, Executive Producer of LOTRO, Turbine. “Our unique pricing model has revolutionized the industry and starting in September, players will be able to choose how they pay for and play one of the world’s best online games and we can’t wait to welcome millions of new players to Middle-earth!”

LOTRO will offer players unlimited choice!

Ø Free means Free! – Players will download LOTRO by visiting www.lotro.com and join with millions of other adventurers as they explore the most complete and authentic recreation of Middle-earth ever created and participate in LOTRO’s award-winning epic story up to level 50 for free.

Ø Visit the new LOTRO Store! -- The LOTRO Store is loaded with thousands of convenience items as well as expansion packs, premium content, additional character slots, potions, character customization and more! The LOTRO Store is seamlessly integrated into the game and lets the player identify new and exciting ways to enhance and customize their experience using points which can be purchased in the store or earned through gameplay.

Ø Be a LOTRO VIP! – Players who elect to become a LOTRO VIP will have unlimited access to all premium content, receive priority server access, 5 character slots, a shared bank slot, and a monthly allotment of points to spend in the new LOTRO Store.

The Lord of the Rings Online is the ultimate adventure. This award-winning massively multiplayer online role-playing game delivers an interactive experience brimming with life and filled with the familiar people, places and monsters from the most famous fantasy of all time. From the picturesque surroundings of the Shire to Moria, the most fearsome underground realm ever imagined, players will soon experience the world of Middle-earth for free! For more information, visit www.lotro.com.

About Turbine
Turbine, Inc. is a premier creator and operator of massive, persistent online worlds that foster powerful social gaming communities. Turbine is wholly owned by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group and has created some of the world’s most popular and award-winning online games, including The Lord of the Rings Online™, Dungeons & Dragons Online®: Eberron Unlimited™, and Asheron's Call®. For more information on Turbine, its products and services please visit www.turbine.com.

About Middle-earth Enterprises
The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Middle-earth Enterprises f/k/a Tolkien Enterprises (SZC), is the holder of worldwide motion picture, legitimate stage, merchandising, and other rights in the literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien including The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. SZC has been producing and licensing films, stage productions and merchandise based on the Tolkien works for more than 30 years. Its headquarters are located in Berkeley, California and its Middle-earth Enterprises website may be found at www.middleearth.com.

About Codemasters
Codemasters is a leading developer and publisher of best-selling interactive entertainment products for a global audience across multiple gaming platforms and channels. Established in 1986, the company’s dominant brands include Colin McRae DiRT, Race Driver GRID, Overlord and Operation Flashpoint; the company recently secured the exclusive worldwide video game rights to FORMULA 1. Codemasters is headquartered in Warwickshire UK, with North American operations based in Universal City, California. The company also maintains operations in Germany, France, Spain, Benelux and Malaysia. Codemasters receives over two million visitors to its web site every month, discover why at www.codemasters.com.

About Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, a division of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, is a premier worldwide publisher, developer, licensor and distributor of entertainment content for the interactive space across all current and future platforms, including console, handheld and PC-based gaming for both internal and third party game titles.

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THE LORD OF THE RINGS ONLINE™ interactive video game © 2010 Turbine, Inc. and patents pending. All rights reserved. Middle-earth Poster Map © 2007 The Saul Zaentz Company, d/b/a Middle-earth Enterprises f/k/a Tolkien Enterprises (SZC), under license to Turbine, Inc. All rights reserved. “The Lord of the Rings Online”, “Siege of Mirkwood”, Middle-earth Enterprises logo, “The Lord of the Rings” and the names of the characters, events, items and places therein are trademarks or registered trademarks of SZC under license to Turbine, Inc. Turbine and the Turbine logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Turbine, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other jurisdictions. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
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