Warner Bros. Interactive has announced that its Lord of the Rings Online MMORPG will be getting a major update this fall…and one of the key new features will be a global free-to-play capabilities. Players will of course be able to purchase expansion pages, items, and account services from a new LOTRO store—so the game isn’t going completely free—but players will be able to get their foot in the door without spending any money.
“Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is bringing quality games based on The Lord of the Rings to multiple platforms, and the franchise’s expansive adventure story lends itself perfectly for LOTRO free-to-play, giving a wide range of players the opportunity to experience the game,” said Warner Bros. Interactive senior VP Jeff Junge, in a statement.
With the update, players will be able to download the game and explore the virtual version of Tolkein’s Middle Earth for free, all the way up to level 50. A new LOTR store will carry heaps of convenience items, along with premium content, expansion pages, additional character slots, character customizations, and more. Players purchase from the store using points: points can be purchased, or earned through gameplay. Warner Bros. hops at some point, players will want to sign up for a paid account to keep going: LOTRO VIP accounts will have unlimited access to all premium content, five character slots, receive priority service access, receive a monthly stipend of points that can be used in the LOTR store.
Players interested in getting an early look at the enhanced LOTRO game can sign up for a beta program at the LOTRO site; the beta goes live June 16, 2010.