In an article on Joystiq posted last night there are some interesting numbers coming from Turbine’s Kate Paiz (currently at GDC) about the changes since LOTRO has gone Free to Play roughly a month ago.
Lord of the Rings Online Executive Producer Kate Paiz announced during a panel at GDC Online 2010 today that Turbine has done it again: Lord of the Rings Online has doubled its revenue and created over a million new accounts since going free-to-play early last month.
This is wonderful news for us players. More money means more development available for the game we love to play! Have we really seen a million more people join our game? That’s amazing!
Paiz also shared that 20% of LotRO‘s former players have returned to the game since the switchover, and that the game has seen a 300% increase in peak concurrency, with three times the number of players online simultaneously, and a 400% increase in active players total. 53% of players have used the in-game microtransaction store (which sells everything from mounts and outfits to XP boosts and character slots)[…]. And even paid subscriptions have increased.
The thing still needs to be worked on of course is opening the Free-to-Play system in Europe for all those players eager for the new content and for the LOTRO Store to play with.
This is only the first month of release and naturally it’s got a ton of draw for people curious to try the game. What will be interesting is if these new players stay for the long term and join our community. I’m sure Turbine is hard at work developing new content to keep their now greatly increased player-based happy and entertained in Middle-Earth.