|Headquarters||Needham, Massachusetts, |
(vice-president and studio head)
|Parent||Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment|
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.
On April 20, 2010, the company was acquired by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment for $160 million and became a part of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE), the video game division of Warner Bros. Entertainment.
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. 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.
In 1995, the company changed its name to Turbine Entertainment Software Corp. In 1999, the company's first game, Asheron's Call, was released. 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.
In 2006, Turbine released Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach. Early reception was positive, but the game was criticised for poor solo play. 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 to play one. 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 Bros. Home Entertainment for $160 million.
In 2012, Turbine announced that they would bring back Asheron's Call 2: Fallen Kings.
In 2015, it was announced that development of Infinite Crisis would end immediately and that the game will be closed on August 14.
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.
On December 19, 2016, it was announced that Turbine would no longer be 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 would become the new publisher, taking over from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. It was announced not long after that, though the Asheron's Call IP would remain as a property of Turbine, it was confirmed that the servers for both Asheron's Call and Asheron's Call 2: Fallen Kings would close on January 31, 2017.
In November 2018, the studio announced it would rebrand and become WB Games Boston.
|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||—||Android, iOS|