According to the interview, one third of LotRO players are over 35 because the license drew people new to MMOs -- people who came for "The Lord of the Rings first, the MMO second." Fans of LotRO often claim the game's community is more mature than that of competing games. "Sometimes game communities can be rough, just because of the nature of the competitiveness and the nature of the age range of people playing, and this is a pretty mature, fun place to be a part of," said Steefel.
Steefel and Mersky also talked about the challenges of dealing with gold farmers, what the real definition of "casual games" might be, the pluses and minuses of adapting a famous work of literature, the competition, and Turbine's option to produce massively multiplayer games for consoles. As is the case with most Gamasutra interviews, the discussion is an excellent read if you want an inside look.