Amazon Games has announced that it has reached an agreement with Embracer Group to develop and publish a new massively multiplayer online (MMO) game based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s high-fantasy series, The Lord of the Rings. According to a press release that Amazon shared today, the new game will feature the stories of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings literary trilogy, and while it doesn’t have a title yet and is still in the early stages of production, the MMO will be available to play on both PC and consoles. Christoph Hartmann, Amazon Games’ CEO, told IGN in a new interview about how the game is aiming to be the biggest MMO out there.
“This is a completely new game because the license is much, much wider… Obviously, there’s nothing changing because we all know the world is set, the characters are set. It’s really the freedom we have in terms of gameplay features where now anything is possible and the limitation is where it’s technically possible or not,” Hartmann told IGN. “Before, it was like, ‘It’s a good idea but we can’t do it because there’s something else going on.’ Now, the mission we are on, and the mission Embracer fully supports, Middle-earth Enterprises, fully supports, is to make the biggest best MMO out there based on Lord of the Rings. That’s our ambition.”
“I want it to be the biggest MMO out there. That’s obviously good for us, but I think that’s also good for gamers because I think there’s still a market for people craving big MMOs,” Hartmann added. “There haven’t been that many out there, and I think I wanted it to be the title that brings even more people into that genre, because the more people that play, the more people are to play with, and that’s really my dream and hope… to be the biggest MMO title out there.”
“We’re committed to bringing players high-quality games, whether through original IPs or long-beloved ones like The Lord of the Rings,” said Christoph Hartmann, VP, Amazon Games. “Bringing players a fresh take on The Lord of the Rings has long been an aspiration for our team, and we’re honored and grateful that Middle-earth Enterprises is entrusting us with this iconic world. We’re also pleased to be expanding our relationship with Embracer Group following our Tomb Raider deal last year, as they’ve proven to be excellent collaborators.”
“The world of Middle-earth continues to prove an endlessly fertile ground for creators, and Amazon Games has a passion for building immersive, compelling worlds and publishing games for a global audience,” said Lee Guinchard, CEO of Freemode. “We have the clear ambition to create the highest-quality entertainment products for this IP, whether we utilize internal resources or team up with the best industry partners that complement our capabilities. We’re taking every care to deliver an MMO which will do justice to the expansive Middle-earth universe and delight players around the world.”
From an Amazon press release:
The upcoming game will be an open-world MMO adventure in a persistent world set in Middle-earth, featuring the beloved stories of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings literary trilogy. The game is in early stages of production, with the Amazon Games Orange County studio—makers of the popular open-world MMO game New World—leading development. Amazon Games will publish the game globally for PC and consoles. Additional details, including launch timing, will be shared at a later date.
The as-yet-untitled The Lord of the Rings game continues Amazon Games’ growing momentum in game publishing and development, following the success of its internally developed MMO New World and action RPG Lost Ark from Smilegate RPG, both of which have topped Steam and Twitch charts and continue to nurture strong player communities. Amazon has also announced publishing agreements with NCSOFT for Throne and Liberty, Bandai Namco Online for Blue Protocol, Crystal Dynamics for the next major Tomb Raider game, and Glowmade and Disruptive Games for unannounced titles.