Western MMO Lord of the Rings Online Adds Social Networking

During the Tokyo Game Show, Jim Crowley, head of MMO developer Turbine, revealed that the popular The Lord of The Rings Online would be introducing a new social networking site specifically for the game’s players using ideas for the site from Facebook and MySpace, Eurogamer reports.

Crowley went on to say that the site will be like “a version of Facebook or MySpace that sits directly on top of the gaming world. This is a fully-featured, rich, robust social network. It has every single feature that you would find in the major commercial social networks such as Facebook and MySpace.”

Since its release, Lord of the Rings Online has seen significant growth in its user base, and this new social networking site, hopes to expand even further when it’s released 2008 running up to the release of the future expansion, The Mines of Moria.

The site promises to allow registered participants to challenge themselves and their friends to earn special deeds that unlock unique rewards including exclusive videos, images, and in-game items that will aid them on their journey. There will also be some unlockables for characters, and unlike the MMO itself which needs to be installed, the site will be able to be accessed anywhere – making it a convenient way to get that little extra slice of LOTRO when players can’t login at a friends house, internet café, or work.

But is this something that will become the norm in the world of MMO gaming? As far as I’m aware, no other MMO in Europe or America has the same idea. However, it seems like the networking site has been well received by MMO gamers.

Games have invaded social sites for a while now, is it time that social sites invade games?