In a podcast, the developers of Lord of the Rings Online said that the switch over to a freemium play model has already tripled the revenue coming in from the MMO.
That's quite a turnaround, though it does raise the question of what the game's revenue picture looked like before the change. Still, LOTR Online's studio, Turbine, claims a million new accounts have been created in the game since the switch to free-to-play, luring back 20 percent of its lapsed former player base and quadrupling its active player base.
The new model is indeed free-to-play, which everyone understands is like basic cable with three networks and public TV. To really play Lord of the Rings Online and take advantage of what it offers, the game sells you expansion packs, additional character slots, customization options, potions and other convenience items.
The game's next big expansion is due for the fall of this year, taking the game to Isengard and raising the level cap to 70. Turbine's LOTRO devs say they are looking forward to the expansion proving their dedication to supporting the game.