Image representing Turbine as depicted in Crun...

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DndI’m sure most people interested in on-line gaming knows about Dungeons and Dragons Online, Also known as DDO. Most of you may have even played it, at least the trial. A lot of you might not have really cared for it either. Especially when there were games like World of Warcraft and Turbines other hit MMORPG Lord of the Rings Online. With games like those, perhaps you just couldn’t see yourself plunking down a wad of cash for your monthly DDO fix.

Well, things have changed a wee bit as of late. To begin with as of this month, DDO has changed its name to Dungeons and Dragons Unlimited. However, the biggest change is the fact that the game is now FREE to PLAY. That’s right, it doesn’t even require a credit card!

However, to experience the game in ALL its splendor, it might be a good idea to invest some cash. They do charge to unlock some things, or to buy more character slots. Yer basically getting the core game free, and if you want to add something..plunk down a few dollars here..want to add a little more? plunk down a few more bucks.

The idea is remarkable, and it’s a great idea if executed PROPERLY. It will give people the chance to actually PLAY the game, beyond the couple of days free trial. Allow them to meet new people, interact and build friendships and in doing so also give them a chance to get incredibly addicted to the game so that they will want to keep adding to their game and expanding their enjoyment.

See how this could work in their favor? Secondlife already employs a similar business strategy and it works incredibly well for them. This is however the first time an established commercial MMORPG has decided to take this route, and I am REALLY excited to see how this will work for Turbine. If it proves to be successful this could change the face of MMO gaming. If their sales and income increases greatly, could they then consider to use this strategy in their already wildly succesful LotRO? Will other companies decide to experiment with the idea, or similar ideas?

Either way, for the gaming public it’s a sweet as hell deal…so, go start playing Dungeons and Dragons Unlimited…Free of charge!

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