Tolkien's Middle-Earth Goes Online
In the upcoming online subscription game based on the Lord of the Rings books, players who are rusty on Tolkien lore will be able to brain up on "Middle-earth" by using an in-game Wikipedia and find their way around using Google's handy map service. Turbine, the company that created the game, has created tools so that your hobbit (or elf or dwarf or whatever) can easily keep a blog.
Turbine's president and chief executive Jeff Anderson stopped by yesterday to show the game off and tout what he called the game's "Web 2.0" features. The company intends to implement cool tools or widgets from Google Maps and other services into the game wherever they might add to the game. "That's clearly the direction we're going," he said.
Some of the game's early players seem to like the fact that Turbine made it possible to "perform" virtual musical instruments in the game. Some have already posted video clips of themselves, playing Tolkien-esque versions of songs such as "Dust in the Wind," on YouTube.
It has been tough for online "massively multiplayer" games to make inroads against World of Warcraft, a game with a whopping 8 million players. But Turbine is hoping that the built-in appeal of having Tolkien's world will bring an audience. The recently-launched test verion of Lord of the Rings Online, which officially launches April 24, drew in almost 700,000 players.
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Posted by: David S. | April 11, 2007 2:16 PM
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