Lord Of The Rings Online: Launch Day Status Report, Interview with Adam Mersky

Adam Mersky, the Director of Public Relations for Turbine, took some time out of his insane launch day schedule to talk to us a bit about the game’s launch and how it’s gone so far. The interview was conducted at 3:00 PM Eastern time.

Lord of the Rings Online: Launch Day Status Report
Based on interview with Adam Mersky (Turbine, PR)
Article by Dana Massey

Turbine launched Lord of the Rings Online this morning and as of 3:00 PM Eastern time the company is very happy with how things had rolled out so far. Launch is a scary day, but the team made it even more frightening when key staff spread out to locations across the United States for launch parties. WarCry spoke to Adam Mersky, the head of Turbine’s Public Relations, just after he got back from a launch event in New York City.

“[The launch has] been great, really smooth,” Mersky told us in a phone interview. “Everyone is very calm, things are rolling smoothly.”

Mersky noted how much MMOs get extensive coverage of their launches for all the wrong reasons. Disasters, crashes, bugs and supply problems often make life hell on the opening day. At the risk of jinxing himself, Mersky said Turbine had not had those problems, although it is still early.

He believes that the World Tour Open Beta they ran really prepared them. They had 11 servers running for weeks in advance and all they really had to do to launch the game was take the servers down, disable the level cap and let them accept retail copies.

Currently, Turbine still has those same 11 servers running, with many more on hand if need be. All were quite busy and full, despite the fact that so many people are supposedly at work on a Tuesday afternoon. He said only two required wait times (of only a couple minutes) for people to login.

For many games, the launch day is dampened by a lack of supply. MMOs need to turn the servers on from the moment the game is out, but sometimes it takes days for copies of the game to filter into retail outlets. This is not the case, Mersky said that they and publisher Midway made sure that the game would be available and shipped copies to key retailers in advance of the April 24th launch. As a result, there were copies available. Mersky himself went to eight stores in New York and found copies at all of them.

Turbine expects traffic, for day one, to peek at around 9:00 PM Eastern, which should tell the tale of whether they truly were ready to handle the load. The team has set up a war room in their Massachusetts offices to tackle any problems as they arise, but Mersky said that last time he was in there things were very calm and happy.

“So far so good, knock on wood,” Mersky concluded with a bit of a nervous laugh.

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