To Rule Them All

By now I’m sure you’ve heard about this.

Since nearly every other blog I follow has been posting about Warner Brothers acquiring Turbine, I’m getting the feeling that it’s a mandatory subject on which to post. Here goes.

Like everyone else, I’m hopeful that no one at Turbine gets burnt by this, or that Turbine actually finds itself in a better position than they have been in the recent past. Best case, they actually get more resources to play with, and that can only be good for their customers. Word is they’ve been struggling, which explains the very ill-advised Offer Wall strategy. Since they, rightly, pulled that debacle down so quickly, one has to think that Turbine isn’t as bad off as some had feared; obviously they still value their reputation enough to listen to their customers. They can’t be that desperate for cash. (Can they?).

I’m not a big fan of WBIE, but neither do I harbor them any ill will. At best (and worst) I’m indifferent. As a publisher, they’ve had some hits (Batman, of the Asylum and LEGO variety) and some misses. I’d challenge anyone to point to a publisher that doesn’t. My hope is that they just leave Turbine alone; or that they have this in mind, and that’s the extent of their interest in changes at Turbine. If they’re (WBIE) smart, they’ll leave a good developer alone to do their jobs.

There is a good side to this, in my mind. At least, there is a component that hasn’t changed, and that fact bodes well for fans of Lord of the Rings Online. The Saul Zaentz Company and Middle Earth Enterprises have always maintained (relatively) tight control of the LotR intellectual property, and have maintained active participation in the development of products based on Tolkien’s work. While this doesn’t always guarantee a quality product, it has so far played out well in LotRO; they’ve kept Turbine as honest to the canon as is reasonable for a fun game. That hasn’t changed.

So I’m hopeful. I have faith in Turbine (still). Until the details of the deal come out (if they ever do), we can’t know how much involvement or control or influence WBIE will have, or hopes to have, over Turbine.


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