The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar pre-order dilemma

lotro [The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar] I am still stuck on the pre-order deal for The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar. It’s a great deal, so either I take it and have access to the game forever, or I never play because I would feel like a sap over-paying if I play in the long term. I generally try to avoid pre-ordering games, because it creates perverse incentives for developers to ship unfinished products, and I have not yet seen The Sign that convinces me that this is The Game. So the pre-order deal means that either Turbine convinces me in the next month that I will want to play $250 worth of The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar, or I never play the game. That’s a tough sell based on beta content.

Also, am I the only one frightened by that good of an offer for pre-orders? If something is so great that everyone wants it, you do not need a big sale to move product. I understand other reasons why you would want lifetime subscribers, but that is a huge discount to offer conditioned on your inability to try before you buy.

Also also, I am never abbreviating The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar.

: Zubon

14 thoughts on “The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar pre-order dilemma”

  1. I would have to bet that some financial analysis of their past games to come up with the $199 lifetime number. Somewhere it was shown how much the average subscriber plays, how long they keep their account, and various other metrics, which they mixed together to come up with $199 in subscription fees being a profitable enough point to entice people to pre-order the box at full SRP.

    On the lower monthly fee, things are a bit less murky. You lose that pricing if you ever cancel, so you’ll never want to cancel unless you know you are going to give up the game for good. It locks you into paying for the game and, again, you have to buy the box early at full SRP. Pretty shrewd if you ask me.

    Of course, if you’re on either plan, they probably also figure you are more likely to purchase the many expansions they have planned.

    All in all, I am glad to see somebody trying a different approach. The rest of the MMO world seems to be locked into a binary of either $15 a month or Free.

  2. I, too, am facing the same dilemma. As this is one of the few companies to actually cancel an MMORPG, I have less confidence in them as I may have in others. The cost really isn’t an issue for me so much, but more of a matter of paying as little as possible for my entertainment.

    It almost feels like you say, pay for play now up front – or never play at all.

    Considering my wife is still quite happy playing WoW, my choice is made even more difficult.

  3. The spousal unit and I will probably go with the reduced monthly fee deal. Hell if I’m paying lifetime *anything*, much less a game. From Turbine.

  4. Turbine is seriously hurting and they need a large number of pre-orders in order to justify their existance. AC is bleeding cash. DDO is losing money (less than 25k subscribers). The board of directors has long wanted to oust Jeff Anderson, but he manages to throw person after person under the bus save his own skin. This will be the last straw: if Turbine cannot land a large launch (2-3 times that of DDO), the company will fold.

  5. I had not thought about couples playing, Ethic. Nothing says, “Happy Valentine’s Day” like, “I just spent $500 on The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar.” It does compare favorably with buying a diamond as a sign of life-long commitment.

  6. I never book more than a month in advance, as in my view, the subscription (or absence of) is about the only feedback metric I can send to these companies. Paying for months I’m not playing just sends a false reading that I still like the game. I’ve lost out on soooooo many EVE skill points that way, but still feel it’s important.

    I heartily endorse your abbreviation policy regarding The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar, and shall be adopting it myself henceforth!

  7. Agreed with VanHemlock on that one, though I like the concept of a lifetime subscription – I still consider Guild Wars a great buy even though I haven’t played it for over a year, since I don’t feel pressure to play it when I’m not up for it, but I know my character is still there if I do want to pick it up at some point.

    I guess it depends on if you like the game or not. If you’re a fan of WoW gameplay but aren’t stuck on the WoW lore, “The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar” presents – in my opinion – a better experience, even judging by current beta content. If you can also get it for 2/3 of the price, that sounds like a steal to me. If you want something considerably different from what you’re outlining in the “Why do I do this?” ( post, then wait for something else to come along – there doesn’t seem to be anything that’s considerably different yet still good on the market at present.

    Of course, there’s always Progress Quest – and that’s free.

  8. I have gone back to my last few posts and made sure I used “The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar” when I referenced the game.

  9. Have to say I got burned by Turbine by buying multiple copies of an expansion, only to be hit with the news just weeks later that they were cancelling the game. I mean hey, they had to know when they started selling that xpac the game was a goner. You don’t make those types of decisions over night. For that reason, even if by some miracle I play this game, I won’t pony-up for a lifetime subscription. If I did and they cancelled a year later I would hate myself and be in prision for trying to bomb their corp offices. So I’ll just save us all the drama and not take the bait.

  10. Well, I just returned from the local Best Buy with two pre-order copies of The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar. One for me and one for my wife. Now to decide on which founder’s rate I’m going to pay for (if any). At least this way, my wife can play the game with me while it is still in open beta.

    Interesting note on the box, “Gameplay and level advancement will be restricted in Open Beta”. I wonder what the level restriction is. It must be related to the fact that your characters can be rolled over to retail without wipe.

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