LOTR Online open beta: 1,000,000 strong on April 6th

Midway Games and Turbine, creators of the swiftly-approaching Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar, announced a huge pre-release push to get you all hooked on the latest cash-draining, time-guzzling MMO-that’s-not-Warcraft. A massive open beta for a million eager gamers will be opened up on April 6th, allowing Tolkienophiles to experience the game prior to its April 24th release date.

Termed “World Tour of Middle-earth”, Midway’s beta allows for character advancement up to level 15, which some French dude will probably manage in twenty to thirty minutes. While it’s unlikely that any amount of hobbits, orc, open betas, or vaguely homoerotic intermingling of the aforementioned hobbits and orcs will draw players away from the behemoth that is World of Warcraft, a little under three weeks to futz around is a nice gesture. 

Curious to see whether or not Rings Online is your bag? Sign up here and hope that you’re one of the million that get their hands on the game early. Hit the jump for a full press release.

Over 1,000,000 Players To Be Invited To Free “World Tour of Middle-earth” For The Lord of the Rings Online

One of the Largest North American MMO Pre-Launch Events Ever Scheduled to Begin On April 6th!

WESTWOOD, MA and CHICAGO, IL – March 27, 2007 — Turbine, Inc. and Midway Games Inc. (NYSE: MWY) announced a massive, free “World Tour of Middle-earth” available to players throughout North America.  Over one million players are planned to be invited into The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™, the most complete and authentic massively multiplayer online (MMO) world based upon the famous Books of J.R.R. Tolkien. The World Tour of Middle-earth is scheduled to begin on April 6th and continue until the anticipated launch of the game on April 24th.

“We decided to launch the World Tour of Middle-earth because of the overwhelming demand from players to get into the closed beta,” said Jeffrey Anderson, President and CEO of Turbine, Inc. “We expect the World Tour of Middle-earth to be a spectacular event like nothing that you’ve ever seen before.”

Free access to this hotly anticipated game combined with the staggering size and scale of the World Tour of Middle-earth make this an unprecedented event in the MMO industry.  Players can pre-order the game at select retail stores nationwide or at www.lotro.com/preorder and start their adventures in Middle-earth beginning on March 30th.

Advancement in the game will be capped at level 15 which will give players a great opportunity to experience the most authentic online persistent recreation of Middle-earth ever created.  Players should visit www.lotro.com/worldtour to get more information on how to obtain a World Tour key. 

The Lord of the Rings Online is the first and only massively multiplayer online role-playing game based upon the Books of J.R.R. Tolkien.  The game recreates the vast world of Middle-earth with incredible dedication to the lore with an unprecedented level of detail.  The game delivers an experience that takes players beyond the Books to where they can create their own story within the most famous fantasy world of all time.  For more information, please visit www.lotro.com.

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Aaron Linde
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