Warner Bros sucks up Turbine
Warner Bros has announced the acquisition of online game developer Turbine, Inc.
Turbine is famous for its massively multiplayer online role-playing games, a notoriety which began way back in 1999, when the company released Asheron’s Call (in the same year Sony’s EverQuest made a big commercial impact).
Since that initial outing to the world of Dereth, Turbine has brought out Dungeons & Dragons Online, the MMORPG version of the original pen and paper dungeon delver.
And also a little effort known as the Lord of the Rings Online, which was particularly addictive, as once you started playing, it was difficult to kick the hobbit.
Both these last two games are still going relatively strong, even if Dungeons & Dragons Online didn’t exactly make a huge impact, and has now gone down the “free to play” road (in the USA – it’s still subscription based in Europe).
“Turbine is a leader in online entertainment and a strong strategic fit for Warner Bros as we continue to broaden our games portfolio and development capabilities,” said Kevin Tsujihara, President of Warner Bros Home Entertainment Group.
“Turbine’s renowned online game development and publishing expertise will help us develop additional online product offerings, while also providing us with new and innovative ways to market and communicate with our consumers.”
Warner Bros previously held all the rights to the Lord of the Rings computer games, with the exception of the Turbine MMORPG. But with that brought under the umbrella, now the company has the complete set.
Of particular interest to Warner Bros is Turbine’s expertise in “e-commerce functionality for online games”, and the company’s social networking platform, which can “integrate their self-developed online communities with popular third-party social networks.”
Last month, Turbine launched a Facebook player feed application for Lord of the Rings Online, which keeps players up to date with each other’s exploits over the social network.
Turbine is the latest in a line of video gaming acquisitions for Warner Bros over the past few years, following the likes of TT Games (developer of the Lego franchises), Snowblind Studios and Midway Games.
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