In Bold Move Toward Free Online Fantasy Gaming, Turbine Prepares to Throw Open the Gates to Dungeons & Dragons
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porting the user forums for Dungeons & Dragons Online and The Lord of the Rings Online to mobile platforms such as the iPhone.
On the technology front, Crowley and Horsfall told me that Turbine is working on a console-based game—though whether it’s based on one of the existing Turbine titles, and whether it’s for the Xbox 360, the Playstation 3, or some other platform, they aren’t ready to say. The company also has plans to build Mac versions of its games, which have all been Windows-based to date. Crowley says Turbine will soon take back the global rights to all of its games, which have historically been marketed and operated through partners in Europe and other regions. Finally, Crowley and Horsfall hinted that Turbine is on the verge of acquiring an additional entertainment property—something on the scale of Tolkien and Dungeons & Dragons that will serve as the foundation for a completely new set of online games and associated services.
“We are a little bit of Hollywood on the Charles here,” Crowley says. “Okay, we’re not really on the Charles, but give me a bit of license. In many ways we are similar to Pixar, in that we have to excel at a lot of disciplines: we have extraordinary technology that is very robust and rich and cutting-edge and operates in 54 countries, in multiple languages; we have the game development itself, which requires an incredible amount of creative talent; and then we also happen to be an online company.”
With consumers now spending more on video games than they do on going to the movies, “We’re in a very sweet spot,” Crowley says. And come September, Turbine will get to see whether the free-to-play model option makes that spot a little more populous.
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