Warner Bros Acquires Turbine Studios and Lord Of The Rings Online License

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group announced today the acquisition of Turbine, Inc., an online social gaming studio that focuses on creating Massively Multiplayer Online games. Turbine was founded in 1994 and is based out of Boston, and has created MMOs based on Dungeons and Dragons and Lord of the Rings. This puts Warner Bros in a position to develop any type of game that they please using the Lord of the Rings license, and we can expect that to include social games at some point soon.

Warner Bros. also gains Turbine’s proprietary digital publishing platform that enables microtransactions, virtual goods and easy e-commerce. Their games leverage online communities that have social networking built in integration to other social networks like Facebook. While social gaming isn’t mentioned explicitly, the fact that this company provides virtual goods, MMO gameplay and online communities with Facebook Connect pretty much spells out that Warner and Turbine will bring something to the social gaming sphere soon.

“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.”

In 2007, Warner Bros. acquired TT Games, developer of the hit LEGO-based game franchises, including LEGO Star Wars, LEGO Indiana Jones and LEGO Batman, which have wide appeal with players of all ages. Early in 2009, Warner Bros. acquired Snowblind Studios to develop its The Lord of the Rings games franchise, with the first title The Lord of the Rings: War in the North expected to be released in 2011. Also in 2009, the Studio purchased the primary assets of Midway Games. Midway published the Mortal Kombat franchise, which has sold over 26 million units worldwide. Most recently, Warner Bros. acquired a majority stake in Rocksteady Studios, a privately held developer of interactive entertainment targeted at teens and adults.