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Turbine opens new West Coast studio

LOTRO curators hire Flagship, Blizzard staff.

Online curators of the Lord of the Rings world, Turbine Inc, have announced the opening of a new studio in Redwood City CA, as well as the hiring of key new members of staff.

Having seen a fair slice of the success pie come their way since the release of LOTRO, the Boston-based developer has justified a bit of a spending and recruitment spree, and they've cherry-picked some industry veterans to man the Redwood facility.

The excellently-named Matt McKnight joins as Studio Director after years of stewardship as CEO of Sniper Studios; new Engineering Director Eric Lind helped build Flagship Studios' online platform; and Creative Director Dave Brekin also comes from the now-defunct Flagship, and before that, Blizzard.

The acquisition could prove a turning point in Turbine's history, with CEO and President Jim Crowley intriguingly declaiming that "Turbine is fast becoming the place to be for those looking to create the new generation of cross-platform MMOs." Polling in the twin cities of Rumour and Speculation seems to indicate that people may believe that a cross-platform MMO could be on the company's agenda for the not too distant future. [Not to mention what Crowley said in Tokyo last week - Ed.]

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Dan Pearson