After making Dungeons & Dragons Online (mostly) free-to-play, developer Turbine confirms that another one of its MMORPG products will be ditching mandatory monthly subscriber fees. As with DDO, Lord of the Rings Online will be switching over to a microtransactions-supported business model later this fall where basic play will be free for all, but users are welcome to spend a little real-world or in-game cash (or simply retain their monthly/lifetime subscriptions) to take advantage of additional features and content as a VIP player.
Further details on what current subscribers are potentially entitled to once the free-to-play update finally launches can be found in a new FAQ on the official game page. Turbine has seen great merit in adopting a free-to-play business model supported by microtransactions; after DDO went this route, subscriptions actually increased 40 percent.
A closed beta for the new face of LOTRO (Volume 3, Book 2) is planned sometime in the near future. Players new and returning alike can sign up for a chance to get in.