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Massive multiplayer online role-playing games are constantly fighting each other over the limited pool of subscribers and one way to keep the player population growing is to offer incentives for referrals. Codemasters, the publisher of Lord of the Rings Online in Europe, is offering Amazon gift cards to those who get a friend to sign up for the game (thanks, Eurogamer).

For a subscriber to be eligible for the referral program, they have to stroll over to a special referral page and input a friend's email address so they can receive a message from Codemasters with instructions on how to get a 14-day free trial of LOTRO. If they sign up for a subscription afterward, you get a £5 or 5 € Amazon voucher.

As you'd suspect, this deal is currently only offered to European players. Too bad. Most referral programs for MMO's, including World of Warcraft, offer incentives strictly limited to the game itself (like a free month of subscription or what have you). Amazon vouchers, though - that's damn near real money given how large of a selection they've got. We eagerly await the day when game companies are offering us straight up cash bribes to play their games.