The Lord of the Rings Online's License Renewed Until 2017
Community manager Rick Heaton has confirmed that Turbine's license for The Lord of the Rings Online has been renewed.
The Lord of the Rings Online has been running for nearly 7 years now and while it has undergone some major changes in that time it has remained a consistent destination for Tolkien fans hoping to make their mark on the lands of Middle-Earth. That being the case, the game's license, which allows its developers at Turbine to work within The Lord of the Rings IP, was set to expire in 2014. This, of course, had some players wondering about the game's fate going forward this year.
Luckily, its developers have firmly laid any potential concerns to rest and confirmed that the game's license has been renewed. "We have said as far back as July of 2013, we plan to support LOTRO for many years to come," said community manager Rick Heaton. "I really want to be as clear as possible on this subject to avoid any further confusion or misunderstanding. The license was renewed." The new license will last until 2017.
Honestly, we would have been very much surprised if the license had been allowed to expire. Having just received a substantial expansion in November it simply wouldn't make sense for Turbine to let the game's license lapse. That being the case, it's still always nice for dedicated fans to have an official confirmation and hopefully this one will ease fears for those gamers who were anxious.
Honestly, we would have been very much surprised if the license had been allowed to expire.
I think the current crop of fears were partly fuelled by Turbine's declaration that they would not be releasing another full expansion ala Helm's Deep in 2014, choosing to focus on other things instead.
Predictions of Doom are a constant in the MMO world of course, though I'd say the demise of City of Heroes did more than any other to give the impression that no game is safe from closure (except WoW I guess.) That was the only one that noone saw coming, whereas the 'sunsetting' of titles like Star Wars Galaxies and Warhammer Online were always a matter of when, not if.
That, and Lotro feels somewhat out of step with the rest of the IP's gaming output, tonally. I could easily see a situation where the high ups chose to kill it off in favour of something newer and shinier, especially when the rest of the games they're pushing out are travesties like Guardians of Middle Earth and Shadow of Mordor. Lotro isn't perfect, and does show its age in some respects, but Turbine continue to show a respect for Tolkien's work that's non-existent elsewhere.
I assume it wouldn't be a one-sided decision to renew the license. If the owners to the rights decided not to work with them, as was the case with Warhammer Online, then I imagine that's that.
However I'm glad to hear LoTRO will continue. I haven't played it in years, but I did adore it while my time lasted with it. A lovely game, with some truly beautiful areas.