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Turbine Entertainment announced today that it's handing off responsibilities for its F2P MMORPGs The Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons & Dragons Online to new indie studio Standing Stone Games, which is staffed (at least in part) by devs who previously worked on both games.
That's probably because Turbine has been laying off people as the studio transitions (under the guidance of owner Warner Bros. Interactive) to focusing on F2P mobile games. The fact that Turbine, once a bastion of MMORPGs, is now passing the torch on its two biggest online games to former staffers at a newly-established studio suggests the transition is all but complete.
"Our development continues on track, and the plans we have already announced remain firmly in our future view," reads a blog post on the LotRO website attributed to longtime executive producer Rob Ciccolini, who is evidently now with Standing Stone. "Again, although we are a new studio, we are also the same developers who have been and will continue to work on our games."
Joining Standing Stone on these projects will be Daybreak Games, who Ciccolini says will partner with Standing Stone to provide "global publishing services" for LotRO and D&DO going forward. According to a transition FAQ, very little about the day-to-day operation of the games is expected to change -- the websites will remain the same, the servers will remain the same, and the corresponding licenses have been transferred to Standing Stone.