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Regionalization Repurcussions

In what seems an unprecedented move this week, Turbine (the developers of Lord of the Rings Online: Shadow of Angmar) and Codemasters (the European publishers of the game) have released the following statement:

"If you are a European player and purchase the game from a retailer based in North America you will not be able to activate your Product Key on the Turbine billing system. The reverse is also true: Copies of LOTRO intended for the European market cannot be registered with Codemasters from a country outside of the territories they serve."

While it's normal for companies to have separate servers for different countries and regions, this is the first time, to our knowledge, that a company is all but banning players from buying the game from a different region to play with friends from another country. Is it a simple business decision? Is it, as one leading fansite manager has said, "an affront to the community"? Are they eliminating our free choice? Is it just smoke and mirrors?

Read the entire announcement here and then tell us what YOU think.

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