From the press release:

    Westwood, MA – April 6, 2007 – Turbine, Inc. announced today that the World Tour of Middle-earth has officially begun! Over one million North American gamers are planned to be invited to this unprecedented event where they can experience The Lord of the Rings OnlineTM: Shadows of AngmarTM for FREE from April 6th until its scheduled launch on April 24th. Even more exciting, the World Tour also serves as a head-start for pre-order customers, allowing them to roll their characters into the launched game.

    “The only thing better than adventuring in Middle-earth is being able to adventure for free!” said Jeffrey Anderson, president and CEO of Turbine, Inc. “The World Tour is a unique opportunity to try The Lord of the Rings Online for yourself before the game launches.”

    During the World Tour, players will be able to advance up to level 15 and experience the most authentic online persistent recreation of Middle-earth ever created. Players should visit to get more information on how to obtain a World Tour key.

    Players can still pre-order The Lord of the Rings Online at or at select retail stores nationwide until April 24th to take advantage of the exciting Founder’s Program. The Founder’s Program is available for a limited time and rewards all players who pre-order the game with the following benefits:

    – Two special membership options: $199/lifetime or $9.99/month
    – Unique in-game bonus items
    – Ability to roll World Tour characters into the launched game

    The Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO) is the first and only massively multiplayer online role-playing game based on the Books of J.R.R. Tolkien. Having been in development for over four years, Turbine has painstakingly re-created the unique and mystical worlds from the Books of J.R.R. Tolkien, creating a virtual world that brims with life and opportunity for endless adventure. LOTRO’s immersive storyline delivers an experience that takes players beyond the Books to where they can create their own story within the most famous fantasy world of all time.

    The Lord of the Rings Online is scheduled for official release on April 24th, 2007.