Wednesday, 31 August 2016

LoTRO and the 2017 license speculation

Recently at Dadi's Lotro Guides, Cordovan, the community manager for Lord of the Ring Online (LOTRO) commented in an interview on the subject of the much speculated end of licence for the game, purported to be 2017.

"Cordovan:  I would like to chime in on the licensing thing too, it is something that comes up on the forums quite a bit.  What we do with LOTRO is not particularly different from other video games that operate under a licensing agreement for intellectual property (ex. super hero games, etc.).  They all have license holders and LOTRO is no different.  Typically these kind of agreements are pieces of business that are not really disclosed to the public.  As part of the corporate business decision making that is involved with the creation [and maintenance -ed.] of a game like LOTRO.  The LOTRO community has historically had some particular sensitivity over the licensing agreement, but the agreement itself has basically always been a routine piece of business from the very start.  So while we can understand that some folks like to talk about it on the forums and as you said; “doom say”, the reality is that it is just a private piece of business that has been routine (lawyers getting together).  Ultimately if there was a major issue with the license you guys would probably find out about it because the game would no longer be operating after a certain point.  This is not a reality show “are they going to get kicked off the island” thing worth speculating month after month, year after year.  It is basically just a routine piece of business and we have no reason to think this won’t be a continuation of that."

Now as much as Turbine may view this as "a routine piece of business" they need to realise that speculation from the community without any input from the company will have a severely negative impact on the business and the game in general, after all, who wants to invest time and money into a game with what could potentially shut down with 12 months. 

I was a die hard fan of LOTRO for seven years, though 6 months ago I started to lose heart. The game became too grindy with less and less content and to add to that, the constant speculation of the game's license ending made me step away and after close to 7 years of constant subscription, I unsubscribed. Now I can't be the only one driven from the game in that way.

So rather than ignoring the speculation, Turbine need to deal with it, openly and honestly and encourage those they have lost to return to this great game and give hope that there is a long term plan for the world they have lovingly created.

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