(June 4, 2010 – Burbank, CA) – Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced today that Turbine, Inc. will unveil a major update this fall, making “The Lord of the Rings Online™” (LOTRO) free-to-play for everyone. Extending its award-winning story, “LOTRO” delivers the ultimate adventure featuring a massive world with state-of-the-art graphics and gameplay, and a rich set of features that until now could only be found in premium subscription-based online games. Launching this fall across North America and Europe, with Codemasters operating the game free-to-play in Europe, “LOTRO” will introduce Turbine’s innovative new pricing model that 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. Players interested in getting a sneak peek of the new “LOTRO” can sign up for a chance to participate in the Beta program which begins June 16, 2010 at http://www.lotro.com. “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 Jeff Junge, Senior Vice President Online Games and Digital Games Platforms, Warner Bros. Digital Distribution and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “We are focused on expanding our game franchises onto new digital platforms to maximize quality experiences for gamers worldwide and ‘LOTRO’s’ new model is a great leading example of this.” “Turbine’s ‘Dungeons and Dragons Online®: Eberron Unlimited™’ was the world’s first truly premium free-to-play online game that ushered in a new era of choice for online gamers seeking quality entertainment,” said Jim Crowley, President and CEO of Turbine. “The popularity of DDO validated the extraordinary demand by gamers for quality entertainment they can experience at their own pace and within their budget. Extending free-to-play to ‘LOTRO’ will offer another premium game to a broad spectrum of fans.” “Having successfully taken two titles free-to-play in the past we are very pleased to be doing the same with ‘The Lord of the Rings Online’ in Europe,” said David Solari, Vice President and General Manager of Codemasters Online. “It’s a fantastic, award-winning game with a wonderfully realized world and this step will only broaden its appeal and increase its player base.” “LOTRO” will offer players unlimited choice! • Free means Free! – Players will download “LOTRO” by visiting www.lotro.com 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. “The Lord of the Rings Online” is the ultimate adventure. This award-winning massively multiplayer online role-playing game delivers an interactive experience brimming with life and filled with the familiar people, places and monsters from the most famous fantasy of all time. From the picturesque surroundings of the Shire to Moria, the most fearsome underground realm ever imagined, players will soon experience the world of Middle-earth for free! For more information, visit www.lotro.com. About Turbine Turbine, Inc. is a premier creator and operator of massive, persistent online worlds that foster powerful social gaming communities. Turbine is wholly owned by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group and has created some of the world’s most popular and award-winning online games, including The Lord of the Rings Online™, Dungeons & Dragons Online®: Eberron Unlimited™, and Asheron's Call®. For more information on Turbine, its products and services please visit www.turbine.com. About Middle-earth Enterprises The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Middle-earth Enterprises f/k/a Tolkien Enterprises (SZC), is the holder of worldwide motion picture, legitimate stage, merchandising, and other rights in the literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien including The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. SZC has been producing and licensing films, stage productions and merchandise based on the Tolkien works for more than 30 years. Its headquarters are located in Berkeley, California and its Middle-earth Enterprises website may be found at www.middleearth.com. About Codemasters Codemasters is a leading developer and publisher of best-selling interactive entertainment products for a global audience across multiple gaming platforms and channels. Established in 1986, the company’s dominant brands include Colin McRae DiRT, Race Driver GRID, Overlord and Operation Flashpoint; the company recently secured the exclusive worldwide video game rights to FORMULA 1. Codemasters is headquartered in Warwickshire UK, with North American operations based in Universal City, California. The company also maintains operations in Germany, France, Spain, Benelux and Malaysia. Codemasters receives over two million visitors to its web site every month, discover why at www.codemasters.com. About Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, a division of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, is a premier worldwide publisher, developer, licensor and distributor of entertainment content for the interactive space across all current and future platforms, including console, handheld and PC-based gaming for both internal and third party game titles.
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