LOTRO goes free-to-play this fall

Friday, 4th June 2010 14:19 GMT By Stephany Nunneley


Warner and Turbine announced today that Lord of the Rings Online will go free to play in the fall in both North America and Europe.

Here’s the rundown on how it will work:

The pricing model allows players to download the game and play for free, purchase expansions, quest packs, items, and account services a la carte from the new LOTRO Store, or join the VIP program to get unlimited access to all of the game’s content for one low price.

You can go to the game’s official site to sign up for the new service’s Beta, which begins on June 16.

Here’s the different payment options:

  • Free means Free – Players will download LOTRO 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

According to PR, if you are currently a lifetime member, you will automatically be given a VIP account and get 500 Turbine Points a month until the new model launches.



  1. OlderGamer

    Sounds to me like e free to download extended Demo.

    If you play your going to want, maybe need to sink some cash into your account. Still not a bad deal tho.

    #1 5 years ago
  2. Amored

    Nice! Maybe some of my friends will start playing then.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. Boris Fett

    Not an entirely bad move. I might end up joining you in game some time once this goes true, Steph.

    #3 5 years ago
  4. Stephany Nunneley

    Honestly, I am worried about this. Not because it is free, but because of the fact that it will be free, I am worried that:

    A- There will an influx of 13-yos because so far the players are mature and not a bunch of nubs.

    B- When it comes time to raid for special gear, there will not be enough folks who have paid enough to get the gear they need to make it through the raid to get better gear.

    C- I think they should have two different models. A free-to-play, and a the sub model. I know that probably cannot be done, but, honestly, I am slightly worried and sick over this.

    I hope my fears will be erased, but at this point, I have died a little inside today if I am being honest. Mainly because I bet my Kin Leader 5 gold it would never happen, and I don’t have 5 gold. That and my whole Kin will quit now. :(

    Boris – I will be more than happy to kill Orcs with you anytime :)

    #4 5 years ago
  5. SunKing

    Sounds like a cool idea. If I were at all into these kinds of classic fantasy universes then I’d jump on the chance to download this.

    #5 5 years ago
  6. humanfish

    Oh shot, I dropped 75 quid on lifetime membership for my brother last week. Ouch. I spose he still gets something being a VIP. Still though, my wallet has shed q tear.

    #6 5 years ago
  7. SunKing

    It seems like a lot of MMOs not named “World of Warcraft” are going this way these days. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Star Trek Online going this route in a year or so.

    #7 5 years ago
  8. Stephany Nunneley

    @5 But the thing is, 90% of most fantasy universes owe their lives to Tolkien, so why not play something based on the Master? :D

    @7 If they do, my Kin (who has already started one early for SWTOR) won’t play it. I am gonna have to find a new one when they quit.

    #8 5 years ago
  9. Boris Fett

    @ Steph, actually a dual system can be done. In D&D Online, you can choose from a free-to-play payment option, where you buy new content as you want to play it, or a sub system, where *everything* is open to you as long as you continue to pay your subscription.

    If you have a lifetime sub, I would imagine that that will probably translate to the subscription offer. They’re not likely to make you pay for gear either, only access to the content that allows you to get the gear.

    Turbine are pretty smart when it comes to the free-to-play system. They know how to make it work without sacrificing the gameplay experience, which is more than can be said for some developers.

    #9 5 years ago
  10. Boris Fett

    I would definitely suggest telling you guild mates not to make any rash decisions Steph, like quit the game because of this. If the dual pay-as-you-go / subscribe system is in place, little will change for the game.

    #10 5 years ago
  11. Stephany Nunneley

    @9 I hope you are right. Hopefully Turbine will clear this up at E3 at their press event.

    My guild mates have pretty much left anyway and moved on to SWG. Oh well. I will just wait until I hear more. You have made me feel a bit better though, thanks for that :)

    #11 5 years ago
  12. Patrick Garratt


    #12 5 years ago
  13. Elven_Star

    hmmm….maybe I will play an MMO after all.

    #13 5 years ago
  14. frostquake

    This was a Beta that I played everyday and really enjoyed! For some reason when the Beta was over, I just didn’t think it was worth the monthly fee, I guess Guild Wars has me spoiled!

    #14 5 years ago
  15. Mauller

    @Steph You guilde mates moved ON to SWG? Wow, that game still gets new subs? I keep flipping around between various MMO’s including LOTRO and SWG. I agree with you that the community in LOTRO is so far one of the most mature that I’ve come across. Lets hope that this works well for the game and doesn’t sign it’s death certificate.

    #15 5 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.