Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Warner Bros. Acquires Turbine

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the playing-catch-up dept.

Businesses 57

NNUfergs writes with news that Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group has acquired Turbine Inc., creators of Lord of the Rings Online, Asheron's Call, and Dungeons & Dragons Online. Terms were not disclosed, but the Boston Globe claims the price was somewhere around $160 million. "Warner Bros. Interactive has bought a number of game development houses in recent years, in a bid to become a major power in video gaming. In 2007, the company purchased TT Games, a British firm that develops family-friendly products like Lego Star Wars and Lego Batman. In 2009, Warner Bros. bought the assets of bankrupt Chicago game company Midway, maker of the popular Mortal Kombat games. And earlier this year, it acquired a majority stake in Rocksteady Studios, another British developer, which created the hit game Batman: Arkham Asylum. ... Acquiring Turbine will give Warner Bros. total control over all future video games based on author J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved Lord of the Rings novels. Turbine holds an exclusive license to make an Internet-based game based on the books, while last year, Warner Bros. won a license to make non-Internet-based Tolkien video games."

cancel ×

57 comments

Surprisingly Localized & Short Sighted Article (3, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31920392)

"I view this as Hollywood coming to Boston," said Turbine's chief executive Jim Crowley, who said the deal underscores Greater Boston's increasing prominence as a center for video game development.

Ha. I view this as a move to capitalize off of the upcoming Hobbit movies [wikipedia.org] .

Acquiring Turbine will give Warner Bros. total control over all future video games based on author J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved Lord of the Rings novels.

Well, Warner Bros is the parent company of New Line Cinema [wikipedia.org] , The Lord of the Rings film studio. Although I'm uneasy that Warner could roll out trashy videogames, I don't think it's too evil for studios to try to retain those kinds of rights as long as they exercise them and I suspect WB will.

Re:Surprisingly Localized & Short Sighted Arti (2, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31920630)

What the... they're acquiring "intellectual property" rights in order to actually use them to create something, instead of to sue other people for creating things? How deliciously old fashioned!

Re:Surprisingly Localized & Short Sighted Arti (0, Offtopic)

larpon (974081) | more than 4 years ago | (#31920686)

Warner Bros. won a license to make non-Internet-based Tolkien video games

How do I win a license? In the license-lottery? Please tell me where I can buy my lottery ticket!

Auction (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31921130)

How do I win a license? In the license-lottery?

Think auction, not lottery.

Re:Surprisingly Localized & Short Sighted Arti (1)

shnull (1359843) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936336)

i fear i might come to view this as the end of DDO :|

There goes the neighborhood (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31920474)

D@#%... and I enjoyed playing D&D Online. Once WB gets control, you just know that the cost is going to go up (from base free), and the quality will go to #33L.

Why I love DDO (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 4 years ago | (#31920666)

Me: "What's the task?"
Quest NPC: "I need ya to collect ten rat tails to prove that yer worthy of this task."
Me: "You can't possibly be serious!"
DM: "The entire table bursts out in laughter." "I'm just poking fun here."

Re:Why I love DDO (2, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#31920722)

Seriously though, if a full blown warrior with a bow and axe comes by some random dude "Got any work for me?" it is FAR more likely to be something like "Nice axe you got there, I need someone to chop me some firewood." or "Any good with that bow? I'd pay good money for some pelts" than "I need you to on a sacred quest for the Sword of Doom in the haunted castle of Skul-Ugir". Realism is not very desirable in an RPG.

Re:Why I love DDO (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31920976)

Yeah, but just imagine how good a skinning knife that Sword of Doom would make...

Re:Why I love DDO (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 4 years ago | (#31922254)

Yeah, pelts *and* flame-grilled rat, at the same time.

Re:There goes the neighborhood (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#31920790)

I couldn't help but wonder if they bought it out to squash the free model, although it sounds like the theatrical interests are there too.

Re:There goes the neighborhood (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31920844)

Eh, why'd you self-censor hell?

Re:There goes the neighborhood (3, Funny)

beakerMeep (716990) | more than 4 years ago | (#31920906)

Looks like he censored "heel" actually. Not even the dirtiest part of a foot.

Re:There goes the neighborhood (1)

Targon (17348) | more than 4 years ago | (#31921106)

DDO was a normal pay to play MMORPG up until the Free to Play option was added back in September. With that in mind, I don't see that DDO would lose the free to play option after all the good it did for the game in terms of profitability. There are potential problems, but after thinking about it, there really is more chance for this being a positive for the game rather than a negative. At the very least, DDO MAY get a better working budget, rather than having LotR getting the most attention.

Re:There goes the neighborhood (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 4 years ago | (#31928212)

Ha! On the LotRO forums there has been complaint that DDO gets all the attention :-)

Re:There goes the neighborhood (1)

bdenton42 (1313735) | more than 4 years ago | (#31921420)

DDO had great content, what there was of it. In the past you had to repeat the same content over and over in order to level, and forget about alts... they did all the exact same stuff over again.

Having large financial pockets like WB might be good for it. Unless WB kills it.

Re:There goes the neighborhood (2, Funny)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 4 years ago | (#31922238)

D@#% ? #33L ?

What are you, some kind of DAMN pc gnome from HELL ?

Re:There goes the neighborhood (1)

Orbijx (1208864) | more than 4 years ago | (#31925132)

Except that, if memory serves me, DDO started as pay to play, and ended up as a micropayment game because it wasn't enough of a cash cow with subscriptions.
Why break what works?

Re:There goes the neighborhood (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 4 years ago | (#31928158)

Has any MMO game company that was acquired by another actually ended up doing better over time? Or more generally, has any game company of any sort done better?

Sort of has me worried. There's always an exception where someone might to well after being bought out. But I can't help but imagine that WB will note that they have some redundant job positions that could be removed (artists, modelers, designers, qa, IT, etc).

What I like most about LotRO is that it feels like Lord of the Rings books and much of that comes from the developers who respect the genre and who realize they're not just creating a generic MMO with a LotR skin (look at the horror of the EA games). But a new owner might not see things the same way, and they could start demanding certain things to raise profits (quantity, not quality).

Meanwhile, Asheron's Call (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31920482)

Is going to get the fucking shaft, just you watch. Since it has nothing to do with Tolkien it's going to get canned.

But hey I can dream right? Maybe they'll pour money into it and put out an expansion and merge some servers right? ...Right? :*(

Re:Meanwhile, Asheron's Call (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31920746)

Maybe they'll pour money into it and put out an expansion and merge some servers right? ...Right? :*(

No.

Also, Jeffrey Bewkes and Barry Meyer say "Fuck you."

Re:Meanwhile, Asheron's Call (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31920806)

Warner Brothers is out to make money. If Asheron's Call is profitable WB will do what it can to keep that money coming in.

Re:Meanwhile, Asheron's Call (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31928190)

If Asheron's Call is profitable WB will do what it can to keep that money coming in.

by way of crap infini-sequels (or the MMO equivelent if that's an MMORPG)

Re:Meanwhile, Asheron's Call (1)

NinePenny (856053) | more than 4 years ago | (#31922146)

I would hope they could give it some love...but I'm not holding my breath. Ive been playing AC since 01 and its been a damn ghost town over the last couple years... the server merge is sorely needed.

Re:Meanwhile, Asheron's Call (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31922952)

That's all, folks!

Hold your horses (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31923614)

Turbine is not becoming a Tolkien studio, the article just mentions the side-effect of this deal making them the sole proprietor of Lord of the Rings media.

Nothing will happen to Asherons Call. It's still going, and will continue to do so, just like DDO will not increase their prices (as a commenter above mentioned).

All this does is give Turbine more revenue to play with and more potential options for future projects.

Re:Hold your horses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31934594)

All this does is give Turbine more revenue to play with and more potential options for future projects.

People said the same thing with EA and Bioware, and look where that got them. Funding is not a generosity, it's an expectation of services performed.

Re:Meanwhile, Asheron's Call (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31924190)

Ha, you wanna dream? Then dream that they'll resurrect Asheron's Call 2! Then again, maybe I'm just one of 10 people or so who want that....

Re:Meanwhile, Asheron's Call (2, Informative)

Nedry57 (951108) | more than 4 years ago | (#31928336)

I still play Asheron's Call casually and like it, especially with the new low level experience. AC is the only MMO world that feels like a real world to me, not just a bunch of different theme park zones put together. That said, I'm no fanboy; it has had (and I'm sure still has) a number of flaws. I hope that it sticks around, or that someday another MMO will come close to the experience of the AC world but with a modernized client.

I've played other games like WoW and LoTRO, and enjoyed them for different reasons (mostly the experience of group questing with friends, etc.) But they leave me feeling like I'm on some kind of guided tour. Even the class-based system feels far too rigid to me. I miss skill points. I'm not saying that AC did this perfectly either--far from it--but that doesn't mean it couldn't be done better in another game.

yes but (0, Troll)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 4 years ago | (#31920520)

Italian goat turds. hoorj!

I read (1, Funny)

dandart (1274360) | more than 4 years ago | (#31920546)

Ahh, I read "Warner Bros. Acquires Turbine" and thought "That's nice of them wanting to save the environment"...

that's all folks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31920788)

So when I log out of DDO will it play Porky Pig saying "Th-uh-the-uh-that's all folks!" ?

Re:that's all folks (3, Funny)

beakerMeep (716990) | more than 4 years ago | (#31920918)

A good loony toons MMO would be sweet actually. Think of all the PVP with acme anvils and pianos.

Re:that's all folks (2, Informative)

poena.dare (306891) | more than 4 years ago | (#31921066)

Toontown was almost there.

Seriously, if you have kids, you should try it for a month. No PvP, but still - PvE where you actually can have a piano drop on a bad guy is pretty frikkin hilarious. Then one day the game becomes a grind like any other. But the first month is pretty damn fun.

Re:that's all folks (1)

daveatneowindotnet (1309197) | more than 4 years ago | (#31921370)

Toontown is the brain child of Jesse Schell the same guy who freaked everybody out with his games in everything speech is it not.

Re:that's all folks (2, Funny)

Remus Shepherd (32833) | more than 4 years ago | (#31922158)

My first thought was that we are one step closer to Animaniacs Online.

Atari (2, Insightful)

crow (16139) | more than 4 years ago | (#31920884)

I hope they do better with Turbine than they did with Atari.

Fuck. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31921006)

I was considering playing DDO. Warner Bros? How much worse could it possibly get? Disney?

Re:Fuck. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31921160)

A lot of people forget that Disney made Kill Bill.

Re:Fuck. (1)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 4 years ago | (#31927816)

I think Mr AC was more worried about a "Walt Disney Presents:" kind-of deal, rather than "Some Company that Disney Happens to Own Presents:".

Disney has a family-friendly reputation to maintain for anything that directly bears their name.

WTF? (5, Insightful)

Divide By Zero (70303) | more than 4 years ago | (#31921642)

What was stopping you before? The exorbitant cost of free? The days and days of downloading (Turbine's tiered download can have you up and playing DDO or LOTRO in an hour or two)? Your enjoyment of spending 45 minutes to cross a continent for one quest or drop? An unnatural desire to collect ten of something and turn it in (rare, but not unheard of in DDO)?

I've played nearly every MMO out there, either in beta, or as a subscriber, or on a trial. DDO does a few things differently (real-time twitch combat normalized for your character level, instanced dungeons for all quests and "adventure areas"), and it's worth a look for that alone. If you're a loner, it's become a functional game with the addition of hirelings and Solo difficulty. (It used to be somewhere between "eh" and unbearable solo.) If you can find a good group that isn't going to zerg rush every dungeon and is willing to let you read the text and let you enjoy the story, it's truly a sublime experience.

Warner Bros. isn't all Looney Tunes, and even if it were, you got a problem with Looney Tunes? I promise you, the kids at your school won't make fun of you for playing something from WB, and if they do, remind them that WB also makes things like The Matrix. (The two rumored "sequels" of this fine film are figments of your imagination - malicious code inserted into the Matrix to degrade your understanding of your place in it.)

If you hate DDO, you're out zero dollars and about as much time as it takes to watch whatever derivative schlock Hollywood's cranking out this month. If you love it, you set your subscription price (nothing, buy-what-you-want or all-you-can-conquer) and have at it. Either way, unless you're willing to cop to COMPLETE publisher zealotry (Sony, after the rootkit incident, does not get a DIME of my money, but I'll still kick around FreeRealms), you risk so little by trying it, it's objectively stupid not to. :)

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31934526)

What was stopping you before? The exorbitant cost of free? The days and days of downloading (Turbine's tiered download can have you up and playing DDO or LOTRO in an hour or two)? Your enjoyment of spending 45 minutes to cross a continent for one quest or drop? An unnatural desire to collect ten of something and turn it in (rare, but not unheard of in DDO)?

Actually, no. I have been on the ropes for the past 2 months on whether to try it out. I don't play a whole lot of games, and definitely not MMOs. But DDO was different enough to make me actually consider playing it. Now it was acquired by Warner Bros, and any hope I had for the game's future has disappeared; I won't be investing time in an MMO only to have it vanish utterly in two months' time.

WB is going to assert their creative insight in one way or another and fuck the game up completely -- and everyone will leave it.

Re:WTF? (1)

Divide By Zero (70303) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938584)

AC, I wish I could bet you money on this, mainly due to the fact that your position is SO unreasonable as to be laughable. People still play SW:G, ferchrissake, and that game's been gutted, re-gutted, and lobotomized. The only thing that drives away EVERY LAST PLAYER is shutting down the servers, and even that doesn't always do it.

If you're trolling, I bit hard and will readily admit it, but if you're not, I'm glad you're staying out of DDO. I'm sure your skill at predicting the future will help you find the next game you're not willing to try.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31950768)

SWG has been dead since 2006 when Jedi were made public. Its only population remains the hardcore fan playerbase: those who would continue playing if Wookiees were changed to Orcs and Zabraks to Elves. All MMOs contain this type of individual. And no one would persuade a person to try SWG today - nor have they, in over four years - despite whether SWG is officially running (barely so), because SWG is a terrible game.

So, yes - 'everyone' has quit SWG. If DDO stumbles, then its casual playerbase will collapse, along with its growing favorable reputation, and the only remaining players will be the hardcore D&D fanatics and a few who have been playing DDO since its inception. It always happens; it's just a matter of when.

Are you seriously going to claim that you are not the slightest bit worried, that Turbine - a studio widely known in the MMO world for AC and its steadfast dedication and support - is consumed by a faceless mega-conglomerate with no history in the modern video game arena (not to mention MMO involvement) and a record of lesser-known IP buyouts shortly followed by complete franchise abandonments?

As I see it, right now is the worst time in DDO's history to encourage newcomers. I'll give DDO 4-5 months, and if its developers were not laid off or forcefully put to work on another title, I might give DDO another look.

Not all LOTR content (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31921198)

Actually, the license is pretty restrictive. LOTRO couldn't include anything from the movies, for example.

Re:Not all LOTR content (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 4 years ago | (#31921358)

Of course, many of the character names (Gandalf, Frodo, Bilbo...), and some of the plotlines are from ancient Norse mythology, so they're public domain. Not that that will stop WB using legal and financial threats to stop people using them.

Will WB be able to do better than past releases? (1)

MasterPatricko (1414887) | more than 4 years ago | (#31921230)

LOTRO had quite a bit of hype behind it on launch, but never really took off (wasn't sufficiently different from WoW to make an impact ...)

LotR:Conquest could have been great was rushed out before it was finished ...

LotR:White Council died quietly.

They weren't spectacular, but my favorites Battle for Middle-Earth I and II (from back when EA held the license) were pretty solid RTS's, since they were essentially reskins of C&C. Considering what EA have done to C&C since then, its probably a good thing that there won't be a BfME3.

So EA/Turbine made fairly good use of the license, but didn't make anything spectacular. So I'm not sad to see their turn over.

Remember that WB (specifically Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment) is (somewhat indirectly) behind Arkham Asylum and LEGO Batman ... so I'm willing to give them a chance.

LotR: War in the North [wikipedia.org] and LotR: Aragorn's Quest [wikipedia.org] look pretty mediocre ... but as several other people had pointed out elsewhere, this does open up the possibility of Lego Lord of the Rings. Which could be amazing.

Re:Will WB be able to do better than past releases (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31921322)

but as several other people had pointed out elsewhere, this does open up the possibility of Lego Lord of the Rings. Which could be amazing.

Amazing to who? 10-year-old kids? I don't understand.

Re:Will WB be able to do better than past releases (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31921638)

I picked up LEGO Starwars for my kids to get them interested in the movies, and ended up playing it quite a bit with them. I think if they did make a LEGO LOTR I'd probably pick that up too.

Re:Will WB be able to do better than past releases (1)

Invisible Agent (412805) | more than 4 years ago | (#31930732)

LOTRO had quite a bit of hype behind it on launch, but never really took off (wasn't sufficiently different from WoW to make an impact ...)

What makes you say LOTRO didn't really take off? Multiple expansions later, it's still a very cool game with tons of players (though Turbine doesn't release subscriber numbers). If you mean that it isn't as popular as WoW, I'm sure you're right. But with 11 active servers (including decent European presence) and a 4 year run so far, I'd argue that it definitely "took off".

What kind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31921694)

Gas, Steam, Water or wind turbine?

Fu34er (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31921732)

WORLd. GNNA MEMBERS

Warner Bros. acquires turbine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31922298)

...and are now offering it for sale in their Acme store.

Warner's History of Running Game Companies Under (1)

Kagato (116051) | more than 4 years ago | (#31923094)

Let's not forget it was Warner that bough Atari in the 80's and proceeded to run it into the ground. They certain bring lot's of capital and ability to score popular media franchises. They also bring to the table a slew of studio heads and producers who want to get their fingers in everything.

Congratulations to Turbine (1)

TFoo (678732) | more than 4 years ago | (#31923172)

it's been a long and storied run

LOTR movie rights (1)

CaseM (746707) | more than 4 years ago | (#31926094)

Acquiring Turbine will give Warner Bros. total control over all future video games based on author J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved Lord of the Rings novels.

Interesting, but does New Line still own the movie rights? I've been waiting on a Return of the King sequel forever, and they sure are taking their sweet ass time getting around to it!

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...