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The Lord of the Rings Online license extended through 2017

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Turbine's massively multiplayer online game set in the Lord of the Rings universe could continue well into 2017, according to an update from the game's community manager, who says the license for games set in Middle-earth has been extended.

Responding to player concerns in the game's official forums — spurred by an announcement that Turbine would no longer develop certain features or merge servers — community manager Rick Heaton said Turbine still plans to support The Lord of the Rings Online beyond 2014.

"I just wanted to drop in and address the concerns surrounding the license, again," Heaton wrote. "We have said as far back as July of 2013, we plan to support LOTRO for many years to come. I really want to be as clear as possible on this subject to avoid any further confusion or misunderstanding. The license was renewed."

Pressed for more details, Heaton later wrote, "We have an agreement that runs through 2017."

Polygon has reached out to Turbine and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment for additional details on its license for Middle-earth games. Publisher Warner Bros. recently announced a new game set in J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy world, the Monolith-developed Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor.