[Community] Turbine Is Now Making Mobile Junk

Turbine is a hard company not to view in revulsion, considering that the company interest in developing real video games probably left when Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons and Dragons Online were spun off to Standing Stone Games, the rather underhanded way in which Turbine scraped what little they could off of Asheron’s Call while lying about their intentions to hand the game over to the community, and some disapproval over the announcement that publishing of LOTRO and DDO would be handled by Daybreak Game Company. All of this came alongside the announcement that Turbine would be focusing on mobile game development, a statement that qualified the company as no longer having anything of value to give to the industry.

Well you weren’t wrong. Turbine has announced its next game, and it appears to be exactly the cynical, cash grabbing, pay to win mobile strategy game that many of you immediately though of when you heard the words “mobile developer.” A popular franchise shamelessly slapped onto the same Evony clone that Chinese developers have been ripping off and releasing by the thousands over the past decade, one that will no doubt exist for a year before fading into obscurity, because as we have repeatedly seen not even a high profile property skin like Game of Thrones is enough to guarantee success in the saturated mobile market, and will disappear as silently as it came.

Head on over to the official website and you will find several paragraphs about the registration bonuses but virtually nothing about the actual game mechanics. There is a good reason for this, games of this caliber have no mechanics and if advertised as they truly are, a game where the player most closely allied with the Iron Bank of Braavos will win, well less people would want to sign up. Games that, even in the context of video games, have utterly no point and slow down to incentivize you to pay money to go nowhere, like paying for the gas to run your car on a treadmill.

I’ve railed against games so boring that the developer builds in bots so they can play themselves, on a level so rough that my joke review actually got covered at the Game Developers Conference in China, but despite the presence of an auto-play button, you can argue that there is a game there for those who want to play it. You couldn’t make an auto-play button for the vast swaths of identical city building games, because there is nothing to play.

So rather than continue beating down Turbine, I’m going to count my blessings that Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons & Dragons Online are in the hands of a leadership that actually care, or at least are willing to pretend that they care, that Warner Bros. and what remains of Turbine are no longer handling it.

Otherwise I have no opinion on the matter.

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One Response to “[Community] Turbine Is Now Making Mobile Junk”

  1. TJ says:

    I just read that old article and thought it was hilarious.
    It’s tragic that a company who made such amazing games has resorted to trash, and I hope frantically that DDO and LotRO have a new steward who will take care of the games, and not just pile trash systems and content into them. DDO already has too much bloat for my comfort level, and I haven’t fired up LotRO in years, but I would play Asheron’s Call on a private server in a heartbeat. I also wish I was still the teenager who could sit and play an MMO for a 24 hour stretch because they were just that exciting. It is up to those of us who can still play and enjoy these games to do so, or they will go away, just like Asheron’s Call did. These games aren’t gathering new clients with the new generations of gamers, unless we show them how great they are. Play, stream, talk about and spend when it makes sense, but be active in the games you love if you would hate to see them go away. We let Asheron’s Call die, but they had no revenue stream other than a monthly subscription, and we now know that while a sub only game makes for the best MMO experience, it cannot alone sustain games forever. We need the rich folks who will buy anything to provide that alternate revenue as much as we need the average player. So I have some hope for DDO and LotRO, but we still-all of us-need to do what we can.