Friday, October 12, 2007

The New Creatures of Middle Earth

Peter Jackson runs his amazing movie empire from a small suburb in Wellington, New Zealand, giving a whole new meaning to the idea of Act Local, Go Global. As a New Zealander and sisomo evangelist, I always keep an eye out for any Jackson news, particularly inspired by his masterwork (so far), The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I remember almost 10 years ago sitting in the Los Angeles offices of New Line Cinemas with Peter Jackson and the Mayor of Wellington, trying to convince them to get behind a Lord of the Rings Wellington premier. How time flies. To me, The Lord of the Rings has all the Lovemark qualities starting with a great story and going through each element of Mystery, Sensuality and Intimacy. What a delight then to see that The Lord of the Rings is sparking new life beyond the movie and the books in an amazing online game. Fans will not let this great myth fade. Between 800,000 and 1 million players have already created around 4 million unique characters in just five months. This is consumer generated media on steroids. I guess it’s not surprising when a Lovemark like The Lord of the Rings creates a sensation online, but what is surprising is that this extraordinary game world has been created by a small developer called Turbine with a staff of just 200. Turbine is a perfect example of a company that totally gets today’s working environment. How have they done it? They:

  • Connected with a Lovemark.
  • Put the fans first.
  • Kept small, fast and nimble.
  • Partnered so they didn’t even attempt to be expert at everything.
Jeff Anderson, the CE of Turbine, told BusinessWeek that he is in the "community business" and plans for these communities to reach round the globe. Watch for Chinese and South Korean versions coming soon. Anyone who has a shred of doubt left about the power of the online community should check out The Lord of the Rings online. You can download a free 7-day trial version of Shadows of Angmar here.


Kempton said...

Hi Kevin,

Thanks for the LOTR BW mention. Very interesting.

By the way, if possible it would be good if a link or at least the title of the article can be provided so that it is easier to find.

Anyways, for the interested readers, here is the BW article "Tolkien's Virtual World Takes Off",


Susan Plunkett said...

Turbine are an exemplar of the 'ideas2product' wizards who know how to build a team in order to make a great connectivity idea happen.

I think the Jeff Andersons of the world are passionate enough and smart enough to move potentials to realities in the context of great scale of efficiency - and awareness of potentials as you outline Kevin.

I also think sooner or later (sooner) these online offerings will become more networked like Foxtel. I for one would consider this not a bad move if we could network quality offerings from both indie/boutique and major companies.