Athlon Games to Publish AAA Online Game Based on The Lord of the Rings

Athlon Games has announced in a press release that it has signed a deal with Middle-earth Enterprises to publish a multi-year online AAA game set before the events of The Lord of the Rings. It’ll allow players to explore a world, characters, and creatures “never seen before by fans of the Tolkien universe.”

“It’s a singular opportunity to work closely with Middle-earth Enterprises to create a completely new experience for fans of the landmark fantasy work of J.R.R. Tolkien, and we are excited about the resurgence of interest in The Lord of the Rings IP,” said Athlon Games’ President, Dave Miller. “This, along with several other major properties Athlon is working with, will help us to further our goal of creating AAA cooperative console and PC experiences that gamers will want to play for years to come.”

Athlon Games’ parent company, Leyou Technologies Holdings Limited, owns Warframe developer and publisher Digital Extremes. The press release states that the companies want to use their expertise in free-to-play design and Western development to create a “strong” IP for consoles and PC with a “global appeal.”

The Warframe formula has been a huge success for Digital Extremes. The free-to-play game continues to attract millions of players since launch in 2013, and has its own dedicated annual convention.

We’ll update our readers when we hear more about the upcoming title. In the meantime, let us know what other franchises you’d love to see turned into MMOs. The gallery below includes our selection: