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Saturday, July 9, 2016

Lord of the Rings Online For Just A Short While Longer?

After the good news of updates to the game this week in LOTRO, the bad news follows that an unspecified number of staff have been laid off at Turbine: 

http://massivelyop.com/2016/07/07/rumor-more-layoffs-for-turbine/

Even more dire, Warner Brothers told Massivelyop:

“Turbine is transitioning into a free-to-play, mobile development studio, and as a result we are eliminating some positions. The Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons and Dragons online games will continue to operate as they do now. Re-focusing and reducing the studio size was a difficult decision for the company, and we are grateful to all of the Turbine staff for their considerable contributions.”

 I've seen plenty of speculation that the licensing for LOTRO wouldn't be renewed next year, which you could only imagine would lead to a shutdown of the game  (rumored for years and hasn't happened so ignore, ignore), but to turn the studio and its assets into some mindless mobile game?  How sad, how awful a fate for such a beautifully designed world.  There is nothing like it and never will be again. 

I am compelled to try to think of any good coming of it, and if some of Turbine's staff get to keep their livelihoods, then more power to those folks.  Honestly, though, it's like asking DaVinci to paint the rocks in your garden.  With a toothpick.

Couldn't someone buy Turbine away from Warner Brothers?  Save Middle Earth!

2 comments:

  1. I don't think there's any suggestion that Turbine will be developing anything Lord of the Rings related for mobile, let alone redrafting the existing assets for tablets or phones. That would actually be an intriguing prospect, like FFXI porting to tablets.

    I read it as WB redirecting the resources Turbine still has towards making mobile games, presumably using assets and IPs WB owns, or else original ones. The existing MMOs carry on as they are for the time being but what exactly that means is as yet unclear - could be maintenance mode, could be the current low-level of new content.

    I think it's safe to assume that if WB had any expectation that the LotRO license would be renewed in 2017 they would not be taking this step now, though. This is presumably in anticipation of the license either going to someone else or not being renewed at all.

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    1. I've looked at how I phrased that numerous times, and what I meant to say was, they will be using the assets of a studio meant to create a massive, living world, including staffing expertise far beyond what any mobile game can possibly use to create some repetitive, pixilated, mind numbing "entertainment". Which will fail.

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