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Middle Earth has been abuzz with rumors that Turbine would be instituting microtransactions to Lord of the Rings Online. However, you've nothing to fear, tiny hobbits - Turbine won't be charging you two bucks for a new pipe or anything like that.

The rumor started when Massively noticed that Turbine was seeking a "microtransaction/e-commerce manager" who would be responsible for "delivering and maximizing the revenue derived from Turbine's micro-transaction-based in-game store."

Microtransactions are small fees that players pay in order to get exclusive items or features. They're more common outside of Western markets but they're usually used in lieu of a subscription fee. If Turbine stopped charging a monthly fee for the game and switched solely to microtransactions, casual gamers who don't care about high-end items would have benefited but it would've been at the expense of hard-core players who normally spend hours and hours trying to earn the best equipment possible. If Turbine kept the subscription system and instituted microtransactions, that probably would've ruffled everyone's feathers though some might argue it's better than having LOTRO shut down for lack of profit (not to say that they're in danger of that).

The debate is apparently moot, though. A community manager announced on the official LOTRO forums that the microtransaction/e-commerce manager posting "is for an unannounced future project."
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