Turbine developing console game

LOTRO dev using funding well.

Lord of the Rings Online developer Turbine has revealed it is "actively developing a title for console".

Confirmation follows speculation over the USD 40 million recently invested in the studio by Time Warner.

Although Turbine was reluctant to give away anything further about the project, it did offer that the "huge distribution network" of its partner was something that "may bear fruit" for it.

"The people that invested in us, Time Warner, one of the media giants getting into the MMO fold - that's obviously a big deal," Adam Mersky, spokesperson for Turbine, told Kotaku.

The money will apparently keep Turbine "well funded" for a while to come, and has helped in hiring around 60 people since the beginning of the year - with 40 posts still to fill.

It will also allow the developer to continue to expand its Dungeons and Dragons Online and Lord of the Rings Online worlds.

"DDO is doing well, too. It's a good time for that franchise," said Mersky, presumably referring to the launch of the Fourth Edition rules.

"Atari has turned itself around, brought in a lot of talented people recently, and we're in active dialogue with them to do good things for DDO."

One of those good things will be implementing DirectX 10 support this summer, apparently.

Meanwhile, work on Lord of the Rings Online is focused around the upcomingMines of Moria expansion as well as a fresh Book update for July. That virtual interpretation of Middle-Earth will also be gifted a full-blown expansion each year, promised Mersky.

Turbine also recently secured some funding from CGB capital. This will help LOTRO move into China with its strong presence there, which is a big deal for Turbine.

The rest of the money Mersky reveals will be used to develop software and technology, specifically in the area of reducing patching times for newcomers (or those reinstalling), as well as fleshing out its user-created dreams for the future.

Subscription figures for Lord of the Rings Online are routinely kept under lock and key at Codemasters Online Gaming, although well-regarded user-base-watcher MMOGCHART puts it at 150,000 at the start of 2008.

The last recorded figure for Dungeons and Dragons Online was made at the beginning of 2007 and puts it at around 50,000 subscribers.

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