Turbine bought by Warner Bros
One of largest indie companies in the US, Turbine Inc. has been bought by Warner Bros. Turbine developed one of the first mmorpgs on the market named Asherons Call with features that makes Blizzard designers look like some 5 years old kids even today after 11 years. They also developed LOTR Online and DDO which have a decent playerbase. For those that live in the dream world and think that this will be a good thing for this company, well say hi to the flying pigs from me.
What will happen? Probably 25% or more of the staff will get shafted, they will start make games based on WB ips and under the direction of “genious” producers from WB, bassicly streamlined mmorpgs with awesome graphics, presentation and horrible gameplay. Gamedesign will be influenced by how much money the product can generate, and not on gameplay quality or inovation, so expect around 2-3 WOW Clones from WB in the next years.
On the positive side the founders probably received a big chunk of money to retire to some island and leave WB to frack things alone.
Good bye Turbine, thanks for Asheron’s Call.
BURBANK, Calif., April 20, 2010 – Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group announced today the acquisition of Turbine, Inc., the largest privately-held online gaming studio in North America, further strengthening Warner Bros.’ position as one of the industry’s fastest growing, full-scale games publishers.
“Turbine is a leader in online entertainment and a strong strategic fit for Warner Bros. as we continue to broaden our games portfolio and development capabilities,” said Kevin Tsujihara, president, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group. “Turbine’s renowned online game development and publishing expertise will help us develop additional online product offerings, while also providing us with new and innovative ways to market and communicate with our consumers.”
Founded in 1994 and operating primarily in Boston, Turbine has created some of the most popular and exciting gaming worlds on the Internet, including Dungeons & Dragons Online®: Eberron Unlimited™, the world’s best free-to-play massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) and The Lord of the Rings Online™, the first and only MMORPG based on the books of J.R.R. Tolkien. Previously, Warner Bros. held all The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) games rights, with the exception of the literary MMO (massively multiplayer online game) rights. Now all games rights for the LOTR franchise will be unified under the Warner Bros. shield.
“We have been looking to expand access to our online worlds to more players and more markets,” said Jim Crowley, president and CEO, Turbine, Inc. “This acquisition is very exciting because it allows us to expand globally while continuing to focus on creating spectacular online games that our loyal fans and players have come to expect.”
Additionally, the acquisition of Turbine provides Warner Bros. with access to a proprietary digital publishing platform that enables dynamic direct-to-consumer relationships, robust online merchandising opportunities and vibrant e-commerce functionality for online games. Turbine has also developed a social networking platform that can integrate their self-developed online communities with popular third-party social networks. Outside of the games arena, these platforms present unique opportunities for Warner’s other home entertainment businesses.