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Lord of the Rings MMO Soars Like an Eagle After Free DLC Update

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The Lord of the Rings online Steam player count has hit its highest concurrent peak in a decade — in fact, since the launch of the Middle-earth MMORPG on Steam, possibly thanks to the latest update that made the first six years of content free-to-play.

Lord of the Rings Online is already one of the best free-to-play MMOs on PC, but developer Standing Stone Games recently announced that it will be offering more fantasy game content for free as part of its 15th anniversary celebration.

Just before the weekend, Lord of the Rings Online Update 33 added a new Yondershire location and made all of the MMO’s first six years of DLC completely free – including several courses and Moria and Helm’s Deep expansions. As a result, according to SteamDB, The Lord of the Rings Online has reached its highest number of concurrent players in a decade — in fact, since it first launched on Steam in 2012. The number on April 22 was 3,760, slightly below the all-time peak of 3,965 set in June 2012.

If these counts don’t seem high for an MMO, keep in mind that Steam isn’t the only way players can access Lord of the Rings Online – it has its own client and launcher, and the Steam version will run them anyway. Still, it’s a good sign that the raven is returning to the mountains — I mean, players are returning to Lord of the Rings Online.

With Amazon launching a Lord of the Rings TV series later this year and scrapping its own plans for a Middle-earth MMO, Lord of the Rings Online may even break records for concurrent players sometime this year. Of course, free stuff also helps.

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Kirsten Bennett
Kirsten is a passionate writer who loves games, and one day he decided to combine the two. She is now professionally writing niche articles about Consoles and hardware .