Warner Bros. Games Boston
Formerly
  • CyberSpace, Inc.
    (1994–1995)
  • Turbine Entertainment Software
    (1995–2005)
  • Turbine Inc.
    (2005–2018)
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryVideo games
FoundedApril 1994; 30 years ago (1994-04)
Founder
  • Jeremy Gaffney
  • Jonathan Monserrat
  • Kevin Langevin
  • Timothy Miller
HeadquartersNeedham, Massachusetts,
U.S.
Key people
Steve Sadin
(vice-president and studio head)
Products
ParentWarner Bros. Games
(2010–present)

WB Games Boston (formerly Turbine Inc., then Turbine Entertainment Software Corp., and originally CyberSpace, Inc.) is an American video game developer. The studio is best known for its massive multiplayer online role-playing games, Asheron's Call, Dungeons & Dragons Online, and The Lord of the Rings Online.

In April 2010, the company was acquired by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment for $160 million and became a part of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (now Warner Bros. Games), the video game division of Warner Bros. Entertainment.[1][2]

History

[edit]
Logo of WB Games Boston from 2018 to 2019.

Turbine was founded as CyberSpace, Inc in April 1994 by Jeremy Gaffney, Jonathan Monserrat, Kevin Langevin, and Timothy Miller, some of whom were students from the Artificial Intelligence Lab at Brown University.[3] In 1995, the company was based in Monserrat's mother's house with 12 staff members. They found an office in Providence, Rhode Island 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.[4]

In 1995, the company changed its name to Turbine Entertainment Software Corp. In 1999, the company's first game, Asheron's Call, was released.[5] It was notable for being the third 3D MMORPG, following the launch of Meridian 59 and then 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: Fallen Kings, which came out in 2002 (just after the first Asheron's Call expansion). However, after only one expansion, Asheron's Call 2: Fallen Kings shut down in 2005. In the same year, Turbine Entertainment Software Corp. changed its name to Turbine, Inc.[6]

In 2006, Turbine released Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach. Early reception was positive, but the game was criticised for poor solo play.[7] 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.[8]

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 to play one.[9] In 2010, Turbine also moved The Lord of the Rings Online (which was then on its second expansion) to a free-to-play model.[10] In the same year, Turbine was purchased by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment for $160 million.[1][2]

In 2012, Turbine brought back Asheron's Call 2: Fallen Kings.[11]

The game's development of Infinite Crisis ended on August 14, 2015.[12]

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 were maintained and supported.[13]

By December 2016, Turbine was no longer involved with the development of The Lord of the Rings Online or Dungeons & Dragons Online. Instead a spin-off studio under the name of Standing Stone Games was formed to take over further development of the game, with game staff moving from Turbine to the new studio. As part of this transition, Daybreak Game Company became the new publisher, taking over from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.[14] Asheron's Call IP remained as a property of Turbine, and the servers for both Asheron's Call and Asheron's Call 2: Fallen Kings were closed on January 31, 2017.[15]

By November 2018, the studio was rebranded and became WB Games Boston.[16]

Games developed

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Year Title Platform(s)
PC Mobile
1999 Asheron's Call Microsoft Windows
2002 Asheron's Call 2: Fallen Kings Microsoft Windows
2006 Dungeons & Dragons Online Microsoft Windows, OS X
2007 The Lord of the Rings Online Microsoft Windows, OS X
2015 Infinite Crisis Microsoft Windows
2016 Batman: Arkham Underworld Android, iOS
2017 Game of Thrones: Conquest[17] Android, iOS

References

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  1. ^ a b Justin Olivetti (April 20, 2010). "Turbine purchased by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment". Engadget. Archived from the original on May 23, 2015. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
  2. ^ a b Kath Brice (April 23, 2010). "Report: Warner Bros to pay $160 million for Turbine". GamesIndustry.biz. Archived from the original on June 18, 2015. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
  3. ^ Mulligan, Jessica; Patrovsky, Bridgette (2003-03-01). Developing Online Games: An Insiders Guide. New Riders Pub. p. 286. ISBN 978-1592730001.
  4. ^ "The Turbine Story: How I founded a computer games company". Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Archived from the original on December 14, 2012. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  5. ^ Ian G Williams (18 February 2015). "Crunched: has the games industry really stopped exploiting its workforce?". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 5 June 2020. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
  6. ^ "Turbine Entertainment Software Changes Name to Turbine, Inc" (Press release). Turbine, Inc. Business Wire. February 15, 2005. Archived from the original on April 14, 2022. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  7. ^ March 2006, Dan_Amrich 30. "Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach review". gamesradar. Archived from the original on 2021-05-23. Retrieved 2021-05-23.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ "The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 2019-02-27. Retrieved 2021-05-23.
  9. ^ "Dungeons & Dragons Online Reboots as Free-to-Play Game". Wired. Archived from the original on 25 October 2022. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  10. ^ "LOTRO: Free-to-Play Date Announced". IGN. Archived from the original on 25 October 2022. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  11. ^ Olivetti, Justin (December 13, 2012). "Turbine brings back Asheron's Call 2". Joystiq, Massively. Archived from the original on June 25, 2015. Retrieved November 16, 2023.
  12. ^ "INFINITE CRISIS CLOSING: AUGUST 14TH, 2015". Archived from the original on 2015-06-06. Retrieved 2015-06-06.
  13. ^ Welsh, Oli (July 8, 2016). "Lord of the Rings Online developer Turbine hit with more layoffs". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on July 11, 2016. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
  14. ^ Bree Royce (19 December 2016). "TURBINE SPINS LOTRO AND DDO TEAMS OUT TO NEW STUDIO, USING DAYBREAK AS PUBLISHER". Massively Overpowered. Archived from the original on 10 December 2017. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
  15. ^ Bree Royce (20 December 2016). "ASHERON'S CALL AND ITS SEQUEL WILL SUNSET AS PART OF THE TURBINE/STANDING STONE SPLIT". Massively Overpowered. Archived from the original on 22 December 2016. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  16. ^ Olivetti, Justin. "Original LOTRO and DDO creator Turbine Entertainment changes its name to WB Games Boston". Massively Overpowered. Archived from the original on 5 November 2018. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  17. ^ Khan, Imran (2017-10-03). "Game Of Thrones: Conquest Announced With Trailer". Game Informer. Archived from the original on 2022-10-16. Retrieved 2017-10-04.
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