In early June, Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment and Codemasters announced that Turbine's popular massively multiplayer online game would go free-to-play this fall. Today, the publisher slapped an official release date on the new version of the Lord of the Rings: Online.
On September 10, LOTRO will ditch its subscription model in favor of a microtransaction-based method. The game will become WBIE's second free-to-play MMO role-playing game, following Dungeons and Dragons Online.
Lord of the Rings Online: Shadow of Angmar released in 2007 to critical acclaim. Expansion packs followed in 2008 and 2009, and currently a $15/month subscription fee is imposed upon on players. However, when the game switches to its new model, a new LOTRO store will appear, where players will be able to purchase expansions, quest packs, items, and account services a la carte.
LOTRO is developed by Turbine, which WBIE acquired in April to consolidate its control of the Lord of the Rings gaming licenses. The acquisition followed Warner's reacquisition of non-MMO game rights to the franchise in March 2009. LOTRO was originally published by the now-defunct Midway Games.