LotRO, DDO, Turbine, Standing Stone Games

401 wc

Did I get all the keywords in there?

Random LotRO image from my hard drive

I’m sure you’ve heard that LotRO and DDO will be leaving Turbine for a studio called Standing Stone Games. The fate of Asheron’s Call is uncertain, but I tend to agree with Wilhelm that we won’t be seeing it much longer, which is a major bummer to me personally since it was the first MMORPG to make a real impact on me, and I think its character development system (skill-based) has yet to be matched. And while I haven’t played it since the 1990s (except for like twice), it’s always been nice to know it’s there.

I have no idea what events led to this news, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Turbine had been planning to dump LotRO and DDO entirely. But instead, the group of folks who would have been fired approached Turbine to work out a deal to take over ownership of the games to keep them running. At least that’s how my fanciful imagination likes to think of how it went down. If it’s true, then kudos to Standing Stone for taking that chance.

With this news I think it’s much less likely that LotRO will shut down anytime soon (I believe somewhere in the FAQ it was confirmed that the Tolkien license had been renewed beyond 2017), but I imagine that updates will now come more slowly than ever, as I expect less developers will be working on it. I could also imagine them adding some extra incentives to get people to pay more money, in the form of cash shop gimmicks or whatnot. Turbine might have been able to operate LotRO at or near a loss, but this new studio certainly won’t be able to.

Personally I’m happy to hear this news, since the alternative probably would have been to simply shut down the two titles.

P.S. LotRO remains the only game for which I regret not buying a lifetime subscription.

P.P.S. I don’t care a whit about DDO. Not that it’s a bad game or anything, it’s just way far down on the list of games I would turn to if I was bored. D&D rules have never translated to computer games very well.

P.P.P.S. It’s confirmed. Asheron’s Call will end January 31st, 2017. Ah, well. I’m tempted to stream it every day from now until then.

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