Ten Ton Hammer takes a look back at how The Lord of the Rings Online evolved and performed during 2011 by offering up a brief article-style interview with Turbine's Adam Mersky and Kate Paiz. Surprisingly, we learn that Rise of Isengard was their best-selling expansion pack to date:
Of particular interest in 2011 was the introduction of the Rise of Isengard expansion pack, the first paid expansion since the transition to Free-to-play. According to Kate, "We had such great results with Rise of Isengard. It was our best-selling expansion yet."
Introducing a paid expansion for a free-to-play game was something of a gamble for Turbine. Adam explained, "We didn't know how it would do and how people would respond to it." But the gamble paid off, and the question of whether or not players would plunk down money for an endgame expansion in a f2p title was answered with a resounding "yes." According to Adam, "It was our biggest expansion ever, bigger than Moria or Mirkwood, which was a pleasant surprise for all of us here. What we learned was, yes, we can do paid expansions for free-to-play games, players want that level of content, and we've learned a lot about how they go about paying for it, how to put it in the store."
This amount of success is sure to have good results in 2012. Adam and Kate had a lot more to say in this interview about the roadmap for 2012. According to Adam, "This is a big year for LotRO and DDO. There should be no doubt in anyone's mind that Turbine is firing on all cylinders right now. We like to joke about the 5th anniversary for LotRO and the 6th anniversary for DDO, but Asheron's Call has been around for 12 years. Everything we've done since the inception of these projects is with that in mind, that we're there for the long haul, and hopefully every year we'll have [an interview] like this with you, where we sorta surprise people with, 'Wow, I can't believe they're continuing to do cool stuff.'"
We'll have more details on the "cool stuff" next week.