Lord of the Rings Online devs prepare players for Mordor but won’t discuss license renewal

    
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You might have heard that Lord of the Rings Online is celebrating its ninth birthday this week, especially if you were in attendance for yesterday’s epic six-hour developer livestream. During the stream, Turbine answered a few of the pressing questions that the community sent in advance, including those about the game’s direction and the issue of the Tolkein IP license.

The question that everyone seemed to want to know is whether Turbine will be able to keep the rights to the setting when it comes up for renewal next year. However, the studio is unwilling or unable to talk about whether its trying to secure the game’s intellectual property license past 2017. In all fairness, Turbine might not be able to comment on it at this time, so for now the fans will have to settle for the ambiguous answer of, “We will face that when it comes.”

Past that note of uncertainty, there were a lot of exciting tidbits for players to celebrate. Mordor is definitely the next stop for our heroes, and Turbine stopped short of officially confirming that Minas Morgul is being created (but you know, hint hint, wink wink). There is work being done on a brighter version of Minas Tirith as a future quest hub, some of the cinematics will be improved, and the coming raid will contain at least five bosses.

Turbine confirmed that no new classes or races will be added to the game and that LOTRO will continue to roll out content updates instead of expansions.

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Firelilyx
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Firelilyx

Union Jack

Lord Zorvan
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Lord Zorvan

BrandywineFred Lord Zorvan
MEE consults the Tolkien Estate regularly, Christopher Tolkien most regularly. Turbine/Warner Brothers are currently being sued by the Tolkiens and MEE for breach of contract and misuse of the license given. WB was never given rights to make digital distribution games, slot machines, and a lot of other things WB has used the license for. So it’s entirely possible that, while the license hasn’t been pulled the last couple years due to pending litigation, it could very well be pulled from renewal this year if the lawsuit is finally settled in the Tolkiens/MEE’s favor.

Dixa
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Dixa

chernabog really? given how heavily monetized everything is anymore IF we were lucky it would be as good as ESO. If we were unlucky it would be another wildstar or guild wars 2. 

the korean influence on the genre is overtaking western sensibilities, and their methods of heavy grind this and heavy grind that with paid shortcuts are becoming the norm. Remember the backlash when the two valar items hit the lotro store? imagine if the already grindy game now took 3 times longer to hit cap making those valar items nearly mandatory for anyone for whom playing an mmorpg is not their 9-5?

no. new mmorpgs have been disappointing lately, with ESO the only standout (being hampered by that studio’s constantly heavy handed approach to class balance every patch and unwillingness to separate pve from pvp) quality title in the last 5 years.

goettel
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goettel

and the issue of the T̶o̶l̶k̶e̶i̶n̶ Tolkien IP license

Union Jack
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Union Jack

I have got two life time accounts and tbh don’t bother playing it anymore as it’s so dated so wont bother me if it dies as it really needs pulling or replacing with a more modern engine it’s very dated indeed.

eekamouse
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eekamouse

I imagine if the licence does not get renewed we will see a patch sometime in mid 2017 to wrap the story up in some form or another . I wouldn’t like to guess if they will try and renew it or not . Maybe their plans will be to make another middle earth mmo and keep lotro alive to retain the rights for that .

JudgeDavid101
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JudgeDavid101

I blame Saruman, getting his petty revenge in the end by shredding the license.

pakelf
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pakelf

People discuss the license issue, but, in this regard there are more possibilites than renew license as it is or not renew  license to have a new game. There is a third option renew license without excluivity rights, so another LOTR game may emerge. Of course I do not know how profitable would it be for a new game to have to compete with LOTRO over the same iconic locations (even if it is in other age, let’s say a second age LOTR). This is what happened with the other Turbine game: we have DDO and NeverWinter, both from the same IP (diferent rules, diferent setting, but the same IP).

Zuji
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Zuji

Could you please take time for the common courtesy to get the man’s name right?

teppic
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teppic

I watched the whole stream and I think you’ve misrepresented it as “the” question – it was asked, it was in no way the focus. Once answered (“we can’t discuss it as it’s a legal matter”) the question wasn’t asked again and it was a tiny part of the stream. People were asking more about the EU datacentre, and a group of people wouldn’t shut up about a /say bug.