Lord of the Rings MMO studio no longer independent

Warner Bros. buys Turbine in ‘$160m’ deal

Warner Bros. has acquired indie MMO developer Turbine in what is reported to be a $160 million deal.

Turbine – the Massachusetts-based studio responsible for Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons & Dragons Online – is now fully owned by Warner following sixteen years of independence.

Turbine CEO Jim Crowley said the acquisition will allow it to expand its business globally.

Warner Bros.’ latest buyout completes the publisher’s full ownership of the Lord of the Rings game brand – a franchise often tipped to be the likeliest to compete with genre kingpin World of Warcraft.

Last year the group purchased J.R.R. Tolkien’s original literary Lord of the Rings works in a deal with previous owner EA.

Numbers behind the deal have not been announced, though a purported source close to the matter said the deal will be as high as $160 million.

The deal continues Warner’s aggressive expansion across the game industry, having bought up a majority of properties sold by fallen firm Midway, before going on to buy a majority share in Batman studio Rocksteady Games.

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