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Lord of the Rings Online doubles its revenue after going free-to-play

Turbine’s online role-playing game Lord of the Rings Online has doubled its revenue since it moved from a subscription model to a free-to-play model earlier last month, said the game’s executive producer, Kate Paiz. Paiz made the comment at GDC Online 2010 today.

Lord of the Rings Online is the second massive multiplayer online role-playing game, or MMORPG, that Turbine has shifted to a free-to-play model. Revenue for its first experiment, Dungeons and Dragons Online, jumped by about 500 percent after the shift. About 20 percent of Lord of the Rings Online users that quit have since returned after the game went free-to-play as well, with a 400 percent increase in the total number of players, Paiz said.

Here’s how the free-to-play, or “freemium”, model works: players are able to play online games with persistent worlds like Lord of the Rings Online for free but must pay for additional perks like armor or becoming more powerful at a quicker pace.

The freemium model isn’t necessarily new. Many successful smaller online games — like Maple Story — that have a smaller player base and might not be viable with a subscription model have used the freemium model.

There aren’t many dominant subscription-based games other than World of Warcraft. World of Warcraft, one of the largest online role-playing games, uses a subscription model because it has around 12 million subscribers and a massive amount of momentum in the MMORPG market. World of Warcraft creator Blizzard is also releasing the game’s third expansion pack in December — after its first and second expansion packs sold 2.4 million and 2.8 million copies in their first days respectively.


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Trackbacks

  1. [...] model to a free-to-play model. Revenue from Turbine’s Lord of the Rings Online doubled and its player base increased by 400 percent when the game went free to play in October. Revenue for the company’s first experiment in [...]

  2. [...] model to a free-to-play model. Revenue from Turbine’s Lord of the Rings Online doubled and its player base increased by 400 percent when the game went free to play in October. Revenue for the company’s first experiment in going [...]

  3. [...] model to a free-to-play model. Revenue from Turbine’s Lord of the Rings Online doubled and its player base increased by 400 percent in the month after it went free to play last fall. Revenue for the company’s first experiment in [...]

  4. [...] indication to a free-to-play model. Revenue from Turbine’s Lord of the Rings Online doubled and the actor bottom increasing by 400 percent when the diversion went giveaway to play in October. Revenue for the company’s initial [...]

  5. [...] model to a free-to-play model. Revenue from Turbine’s Lord of the Rings Online doubled and its player base increased by 400 percent in the month after it went free to play. Revenue for the company’s first experiment in going [...]

  6. [...] Some MMOs have done so already, and found value in employing a freemium model. Dungeons & Dragons Online and Lord of the Rings Online have both successfully switched from a subscription to freemium model. After the switch, D&D Online saw a 500% increase in its revenue. LotRO saw a 400% increase in its player base, and its revenue doubled. [...]

  7. [...] model to a free-to-play model. Revenue from Turbine’s Lord of the Rings Online doubled and its player base increased by 400 percent in the month after it went free to play last fall. Revenue for the company’s first experiment in [...]

  8. [...] model to a free-to-play model. Revenue from Turbine’s Lord of the Rings Online doubled and its player base increased by 400 percent in the month after it went free to play last fall. Revenue for the company’s first experiment in [...]

  9. [...] model to a free-to-play model. Revenue from Turbine’s Lord of the Rings Online doubled and its player base increased by 400 percent in the month after it went free to play last fall. Revenue for the company’s first experiment in [...]

  10. [...] model to a free-to-play model. Revenue from Turbine’s Lord of the Rings Online doubled and its player base increased by 400 percent in the month after it went free to play last fall. Revenue for the company’s first experiment in [...]

  11. [...] Lord of the Rings Online doubles its revenue after going free-to-play | VentureBeat Everquest 2 sees 300% player increase after going free-to-play | Joystiq I wouldn't mind if they [...]

  12. [...] Turbine’s revenue from its online role-playing game Lord of the Rings Online doubled since it moved from a subscription model to a free-to-play model earlier last month, the game’s executive producer Kate Paiz said at GDC Online 2010 today. Lord of the Rings Online is the second massive multiplayer online role-playing game, or MMORPG, that Turbine has shifted to a free-to-play model and has seen substantial revenue growth. Revenue for its first experiment, Dungeons and Dragons Online, jumped by about 500 percent after Turbine shifted the game to a free-to-play model. About 20 percent of Lord of the Rings Online users that quit have since returned after the game went free-to-play as well, with a 400 percent increase in the total number of players, Paiz said. Here’s how the free-to-play, or “freemium”, model works: players are able to play online games with persistent worlds like Lord of the Rings Online for free, but pay for additional perks like armor or becoming more powerful at a quicker pace. Turbine is one of the first to transition its games from a subscription model — a model both Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons and Dragons Online originally used — to a freemium model and seen significant revenue growth. Lord of the Rings Online doubles its revenue after going free-to-play | GamesBeat [...]

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