Lord of the Rings Online is bringing in three times as much money now that it's free-to-play as it did when users were asked to pay a subscription fee.

As reported by Gamasutra, developer Turbine's comms director Adam Mersky told the Ten Ton Hammer podcast, "This year - it's still early, it's only been a couple of months - monthly revenue has tripled for us."

Whereas before Turbine made money from disc sales and monthly subscription fees, it now focuses on in-game micro-transactions like quest packs and new items.

Executive producer Kate Paiz added that the game had seen a huge uplift in player numbers since the switch late last year.

"We are super-pleased with how so many of our players have responded fantastically," she gushed. "We're getting so many new players in and the world feels alive and vibrant."

"This really echoes a lot of what we've seen throughout the entertainment industry in general. It's really about letting players make their choices about how they play. People are like 'I own my choices. You give me the power and I'll decide if you're cool enough for me.'"

Next up for the highly-regarded MMO is the Rise of Isengard expansion, which goes live in the Autumn.

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Fred Dutton

Fred Dutton

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Fred Dutton is Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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