Standing Stone Games to take over LOTRO and DDO

2016-12-20

With an announcement from Turbine today, the development teams of Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons & Dragons Online will be combined to create a new studio called Standing Stone Games. Daybreak will handle the publishing of LOTRO and DDO, and be the global publisher for their games going forward. Turbine will no longer be involved in the development of either of these games. However, the same teams will continue development through this new games studio.

Official Announcement:

Greetings,

Today we have some momentous news! The game teams responsible for The Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO) and Dungeons & Dragons Online (DDO) are now moving from Turbine to Standing Stone Games, a newly formed indie game studio. In addition, we’ve partnered with Daybreak Games to provide global publishing services. They’ve had a long, successful history developing and publishing MMOs, and we’re happy to lean on their expertise.

With the announcement out of the way, I wanted to talk to you about what all this means.

We’re embarking on an exciting adventure as Standing Stone Games, a newly-independent studio staffed by people who have been working on DDO and LOTRO for many years. The teams remain very much committed to both games and are thrilled to continue development and operations of these games as an independent studio. This is an opportunity for us to bring about our dreams while still working on two of the biggest licenses in video games. It’s a huge honor, and for you this means your games will continue to grow and improve. We love to focus on games with a high level of depth and scope, and we can’t wait to show you what the future brings.

Although a great many exciting things are happening on our end, you’ll be able to continue playing the game(s) you enjoy with as little interruption as possible. Our development continues on track, and the plans we have already announced remain firmly in our future view. Again, although we are a new studio, we are also the same developers who have been and will continue to work on our games.

Our success has always been possible because of your support. As we move forward, this is more important than ever. The ultimate goal of our new studio is to continue to bring you amazing experiences. We are excited for the future, and we’re thrilled to have you with us on this journey.

Here’s to great games, epic adventures, and memorable times with friends!

~Sev

 

Daybreak Games

Daybreak Games (formerly Sony Online Entertainment) becoming the publisher is no surprise, given the company’s the long history of titles.  Some other games they’ve published are:

  • H1z1: KoTK and Just Survive
  • Planetside 2
  • EverQuest
  • EverQuest II
  • DC Universe Online

Now, Daybreak adds two more games to it’s publishing roster going forward.

 

Standing Stone Games

As for Standing Stone Games, it is very exciting to see two great teams merging into a new indie studio. It’s clear support will be continued for both games that have been previously handled as separate teams. From their FAQ, it seems they’ve already handled most transitional problems. There will be no difference from the player’s perspective as far as we can tell. Proving there will still be development, a new patch released today for The Lord of the Rings Online.

It seems the transition for this new company was handled professionally by all parties, and everyone should look forward to anything new that comes out of this new studio.

 

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Comments

  • David Matterall

    I’m very excited about Daybreak gets to put thee out and handle their marketing and growth. These are two games that I considered playing instead of EVE, and I might take a second look at them. ANy game that can give you a good solo experience in a wider world is very interesting to players like me – older with established busy lives.

    December 20, 2016 at 6:10 PM
    • One of the things I recall from LotRO was that the Hobbits had a starting area and set of quests completely unlike anything you’d expect in other MMOs. Very much focused on the kind of problems you’d expect them to have, rather than killing ten of whatever. I think I’m going to pick up the multi-expansion pass for LotRO during this year’s Christmas sale.

      December 20, 2016 at 8:03 PM
  • Duramora

    As a Lifetime VIP LoTRO player who left about 4 years ago (because the game was making some changes that I didn’t care for), I really feel skeptical of the change. Essentially, all they’re changing is management; not the people actually working on the game. Now, maybe that will make all the difference and will turn the game around, but I remain BitterVet.

    Right now, my main is sitting right in the Battle of Pelennor Fields; I just can’t do the last quest. Not that its HARD, its a lot of running around and clicking on NPCs to see their dialog. A huge mega-battle for control of Middle-Earth, and you’re a glorified messenger. I’ve tried 5 times now, and each time I give up- I get tired of doing nothing but travel.

    I’m sure there are other issues with LoTRO that others will bring up, but thats the biggie for me: Not the gear grind, or the poor PvMP, or the weird class imbalances, but that the quests aren’t exiting anymore.

    So, Dear Gandalf; I’m fed up with being your Glorified Messenger Boy!! You wanna see me, you get in your pod and come out to nullsec so I can shoot your white ass.

    December 20, 2016 at 8:05 PM
  • JuffoWup

    Sooo, did I miss some news with turbine again? Are they still under WB’s umbrella? I thought they were bought out specifically to combine all the lotr ips under themselves. Then there is the obvious question of where is turbine getting income now. They currently only have Asheron’s Call 1 going. And I thnk they are still working on trying to reverse engineer Microsoft’s chat server that bungled Asheron’s Call 2 (you can beta play it with an ac1 sub).

    Edit: Correction on Asheron’s Call 1:

    https://www.asheronscall.com/en/forums/showthread.php?73423-Asheron-s-Call&p=753697

    Rip that one too. That leaves nothing left in Turbine’s income stream.

    December 21, 2016 at 12:27 AM
    • Wilhelm Arcturus JuffoWup

      Turbine still has their mobile app projects. That means “Batman: Arkham Underworld” for iOS, with “Game of Thrones: Conquest” in the works. So, yeah, not much there.

      December 21, 2016 at 12:46 AM
  • Wilhelm Arcturus

    Getting a Lifetime subscription for LOTRO at launch was probably my best MMORPG purchase ever. I got my money’s worth out of that. And this deal probably extends the life of both DDO and LOTRO by getting them off of WB’s books, since the margins are probably not great for a software project. All that server and administrative overhead.

    Now what will Daybreak end up doing for/with SSG is the question. A “publisher” for a game that you download seems like a bit of a 5th wheel, and Daybreak (and SOE before them) hasn’t been exactly stellar on the whole “global” side of things. (Run tape of the ProSiebenSat.1 debacle.) But if both games got on Daybreak Access for billing, that might be good all around.

    December 21, 2016 at 12:53 AM