The Lord of the Rings Online Steam player count has hit its highest concurrent peak in a decade – since the launch of the Middle-Earth MMORPG on Steam, in fact, and it’s presumably thanks to the latest update making the first six years of content free-to-play.
Lord of the Rings Online is already one of the best free MMOs on PC but developer Standing Stone Games recently announced that it would be making even more of the fantasy game‘s content available for free as part of the 15th-anniversary celebrations.
Just before the weekend, Lord of the Rings Online Update 33 added the new Yondershire location and made all DLC from the MMO’s first six years completely free – including several classes and the Mines of Moria and Helm’s Deep expansions. As a result, according to SteamDB, Lord of the Rings Online hit its highest concurrent player count in ten years – since it first launched on Steam in 2012, in fact. The count on April 22 was 3,760 players, just shy of the all-time peak of 3,965 recorded in June 2012.
If none of these counts seem high for an MMO, remember that Steam isn’t the only way players can access Lord of the Rings Online – it’s got its own client and launcher, which the Steam version runs anyway. Nevertheless, this is a good indicator that the ravens are returning to the mountain – I mean, players are returning to Lord of the Rings Online.
Given that Amazon has a Lord of the Rings TV series launching later this year and it cancelled plans for its own Middle-Earth MMO, Lord of the Rings Online may even beat that concurrent player count record sometime this year. The free stuff helps too, of course.