After a delayed free-to-play launch, it appears that Turbine wanted to take the European future of The Lord of the Rings Online into their own hands, as they've just announced that they'll be assuming control of the popular MMORPG from Codemasters on June 1st, 2011. The official press release:
TURBINE TO ASSUME OPERATIONAL CONTROL OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS ONLINEâ„¢ IN EUROPE
NEEDHAM, MA APRIL 26, 2011 -- Turbine announced today that it will be expanding its global operations and will assume full control of The Lord of the Rings Onlineâ„¢ (LOTRO) in Europe beginning June 1, 2011. As part of this transition, Codemasters Online will continue to operate the European LOTRO service until June 1st when the existing European players will begin the migration to Turbine's global service. For more information on the transition, please visit: http://www.lotro.com/news/latestnews/1157.
(We are working very closely with our partner Codemasters Online to facilitate a smooth transition to our new global service. We will be providing free account transfers to our new global service and players will be notified when the transfer utility is available,) said Kate Paiz, Executive Producer of The Lord of the Rings Online. (We thank Codemasters for the outstanding job they have done publishing and operating LOTRO and we look forward to continuing to deliver one of the world's best online entertainment experiences to the gamers of Europe.)
(After 4 years of successful publishing and operations we are proud to be handing over a vibrant and healthy service to Turbine,) said David Solari, Vice President and General Manager of Codemasters Online. )I'd like to thank our many customers over the years for their commitment and look forward to bringing more service-based entertainment to them in the future.)
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 can experience the world of Middle-earth for free! For more information, visit www.lotro.com.
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 Onlineâ„¢, Dungeons & Dragons Online®: Eberron Unlimitedâ„¢, 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 , 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 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.