Budget-minded gamers might want to consider emigrating from Azeroth to Middle Earth this year. Warner Bros. said Friday that Lord of the Rings Online will move to a freemium model this fall, with free basic gameplay supported by a la carte transactions and VIP accounts. Lord of the Rings Online is an MMORPG set in the iconic fantasy setting created by J.R.R. Tolkien. The game, developed by Turbine, launched in 2007 and has enjoyed several major expansions.
The new update, due out this fall in North America and Europe, will allow players to download and play the game up to level 50 without spending a nickel. Players will be able to purchase expansions, quest packs, items and other account services individually. Lord of the Rings Online VIP accounts get unlimited access to premium game content for one price as well as a handful of other perks like character slots, priority server access and a monthly allowance of points to spend in the Lord of the Rings Online store. For an early look at the free-to-play Lord of the Rings Online, sign up for the next beta test, which starts June 16.