Turbine, Inc. logo.
|Subsidiary of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment|
Computer and video games
|Founder||Johnny Monsarrat, Jeremy Gaffney, Kevin Langevin, Timothy Miller|
|Headquarters||Needham, Massachusetts, United States|
|Products||The Lord of the Rings Online
Dungeons & Dragons Online
Asheron's Call 2
|Parent||Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment|
|Slogan||Powered By Our Fans|
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 as CyberSpace, Inc., changing their company name in 1995 to Turbine, Inc. In April 2007, Turbine released their most recent MMORPG, The Lord of the Rings Online.
Turbine was a privately held company backed by Highland Capital Partners, Polaris Venture Partners, and other private investors since 1998. On April 20, 2010, the company was formally acquired by Warner Bros..
Turbine is known for employing fans of the game to the customer service side. Examples for Dungeons and Dragons Online include "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 founded in April 1994 by Johnny Monsarrat and fellow students at Brown University, as a project with the goal 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". Its name was later changed to "Second Nature", but since that was taken, "Turbine" was chosen. Asheron's Call was the company's first game. It 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. The Olthoi was the first monster developed for Asheron's Call, designed by Joe Angell.
After Asheron's Call, the company went on to make a sequel, Asheron's Call 2, which came out in 2002 (just after the first Asheron's Call expansion). However, after only one expansion Asheron's Call 2 shut down in 2005. 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, in 2007, Turbine released The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar, which got positive reviews and was seen as a needed boost for the company.
In 2009, 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. The game was later renamed simply to Dungeons and Dragons Online.
In 2010, Turbine also moved The 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 would bring back Asheron's Call 2.
The company was hit with layoffs for three years consecutively starting from 2014. While Turbine's focus was shifted to develop free-to-play mobile games by Warner Bros. in 2016, the servers for both The Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons & Dragons Online would be maintained and supported. Turbine's current projects include two mobile titles: Batman: Arkham Underworld and Game of Thrones: Conquest.
|2002||Asheron's Call 2: Fallen Kings||No||Yes|
|2006||Dungeons & Dragons Online||Yes||Yes|
|2007||The Lord of the Rings Online||Yes||Yes|
|TBD||Batman: Arkham Underworld||TBD|
|TBD||Game of Thrones: Conquest||TBD|
- Johnny Monsarrat's story of founding Turbine
- Turbine spin into action to secure Tolkien license VideoGamer.com
- Justin Olivetti (20 April 2010). "Turbine purchased by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment". Engadget. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
- Website with many Turbine prank stories, including the famous 'Wall of Wheat Puffs'..
- Ian G Williams (18 February 2015). "Crunched: has the games industry really stopped exploiting its workforce?". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
- Welsh, Oli (July 8, 2016). "Lord of the Rings Online developer Turbine hit with more layoffs". Eurogamer. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
- Phillips, Tom (2015-03-03). "Infinite Crisis dev Turbine making Batman: Arkham Underworld for iOS". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2015-03-03.