Turbine, Inc. logo.
|Type||Subsidiary of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment|
Computer and video games
|Headquarters||Needham, Massachusetts, United States|
|Products||The Lord of the Rings Online
Dungeons & Dragons Online
Asheron's Call 2
|Parent||Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment|
Turbine, Inc. (formerly Turbine Entertainment Software, Second Nature, and originally CyberSpace, Inc.) is an American computer game developer that develops 3D massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs). Turbine was founded by Johnny Monsarrat, Jeremy Gaffney, Kevin Langevin, and Timothy Miller, changing their company name in 2005 to Turbine, Inc. In April 2007, Turbine released their most recent MMORPG, The Lord of the Rings Online.
Turbine is well known for employing fans of the game to the customer service side, for DDO examples being "Tolero" who hosted a long running role play segment on the unofficial DDO podcast, DDOcast, and Jerry Snook creator and host of said cast.
Turbine was a privately held company backed by Highland Capital Partners, Polaris Venture Partners, and other private investors since 1998; it has paid no dividends. On April 20, 2010, the company was formally acquired by Warner Bros..
Turbine was founded in April 1994 by Johnny Monsarrat and fellow students at Brown University, not so much as a company but as a giant project that grew and grew, the goal being to create the world's largest game. Monsarrat was hit by a car in 1994 which resulted in a payout he used to fund the company. In 1995 the company was based in his mother's house with 12 staff members. They found an office in Providence, RI, but later moved to Westwood, Massachusetts to better take advantage of the software engineers coming out of Boston's colleges. As CEO, Monsarrat used free food and office pranks to keep staff motivated.
The company was originally called Cyberspace because "that seemed cool", and was then changed to "Second Nature", but that was taken, so "Turbine" was chosen. The Olthoi was the first monster developed for Asheron's Call, designed by Joe Angell. Asheron's Call was notable for being the second 3D MMORPG, following the launch of EverQuest. Its most notable feature, designed by Monsarrat, was a "loyalty" system giving new and experienced players incentives to work together.
After Asheron's Call, the company went on to make a sequel, which came out in 2002 just after the first Asheron's Call expansion. However after one expansion Asheron's Call 2 shut down in 2005, followed by another expansion to the original Asheron's Call. The following year Turbine brought out Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach. Early reception was positive but the game was criticised for poor solo play.
One year after that Turbine brought out Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar which got positive reviews and was seen as a needed boost for the company.
Dungeons and Dragons Online was suffering a low playerbase; in an attempt to save the game, Turbine replaced the traditional monthly subscription model with a free one and changed the name from 'Stormreach' to 'Eberron Unlimited'. Many other games in the MMORPG genre have since followed this shift to a Free to Play (F2P) model.
In 2010, Turbine also moved Lord of the Rings Online (which was then on its second expansion) to a Free to Play model. In the same year Turbine was purchased by Warner Brothers.
In 2012 Turbine announced that they will bring back Asheron's Call 2.
In 2014 the studio was hit with layoffs.
- Asheron's Call (1999)
- Asheron's Call 2: Fallen Kings (2002)
- Asheron's Call 2: Legions (2005)
- Dungeons & Dragons Online (2006)
- The Lord of the Rings Online (2007)
- Infinite Crisis (TBA)
- Johnny Monsarrat's story of founding Turbine
- Website with many Turbine prank stories, including the famous 'Wall of Wheat Puffs'..
- Wawro, Alex (12 February 2014). "Lord of the Rings Online dev Turbine hit with layoffs". Gamasutra. Think Services. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- Turbine official site
- Asheron's Call official site
- Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach official site
- The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar official site
- Turbine, Inc. entry at MobyGames