The next step in the evolution of the MMO species? Or just a gimmick? Eurogamer has noted Turbine's Jim Crowley is talking about the launch of a genuine social networking site for LOTRO players before year's end. Live news from the game world, character profiles, friends lists, and sharing screens and videos from the game.
"Turbine believes that a closed eco-system will have to become an open eco-system," he said. "The MMO needs to learn... to adapt itself to the 'born digital' generation. The MMO needs to step out of its shell and start reaching a much broader and deeper audience."
I think this is a great idea. Virtual worlds need to move beyond the game client, particularly if it can let players do their MMO chores during convenient downtime during the day. If WoW had a mobile phone version of the auction house, for example, I don't think I'd have left when I did. I'd have just kept playing that market to gain some gold between the times I could actually jump in and spend more genuine time playing the game. Allowing friends and guilds to interact as part of a world-specific social network can only be a good thing. Anyone see a downside?
LOTRO to get social network site this year [Eurogamer]