Turbine Entertainment has announced that it will take full control of its flagship MMO The Lord of the Rings Online
in Europe later this year, taking over from Codemasters Online.
As part of its global operations expansion, the company will assume control over the European servers from June 1st. Up until that time, Codemasters Online will continue to operate these servers, at which point existing European players will begin the migration to Turbine's global service.
Kate Paiz, executive producer of The Lord of the Rings Online
, said of the move, "We are working very closely with our partner Codemasters Online to facilitate a smooth transition to our new global service. "
"We will be providing free account transfers to our new global service and players will be notified when the transfer utility is available. We thank Codemasters for the outstanding job they have done publishing and operating LOTRO
and we look forward to continuing to deliver one of the world's best online entertainment experiences to the gamers of Europe."
Vice president of Codemasters Online David Solari noted, "After 4 years of successful publishing and operations we are proud to be handing over a vibrant and healthy service to Turbine. I'd like to thank our many customers over the years for their commitment and look forward to bringing more service-based entertainment to them in the future."
Turbine Entertainment changed The Lord of the Rings Online to a free-to-play model
last year, noting that "Extending free-to-play to LOTRO
will offer another premium game to a broad spectrum of fans."
The company has since seen revenue from the game triple
, with increased player population and levels of activity in the game world.