Get ready to explore Middle-earth in a brand new way. Amazon Game Studios has announced it is working on a free-to-play The Lord of the Rings MMO. While it will be for “consoles and PC,” specific platforms were not named at this time. In addition, the currently-unnamed online title does not have a release date, suggesting it could be a ways away.
The MMO will take place in the “Middle-earth portrayed in The Lord of the Rings literary trilogy,” which means this project will be based on the J.R.R. Tolkien novels, as opposed to the Peter Jackson films. Amazon is collaborating with Leyou Technologies and Middle-earth Enterprises on the project.
If you may recall, this project was actually announced about a year ago by Leyou subsidiary Athlon Games. At the time, Amazon, which is leading the project, was not attached. Amazon is also working on a The Lord of the Rings television series, though it has already been confirmed that the two projects will not be connected. Amazon Game Studios Vice President Christoph Hartmann, who joined in 2018, called the project a “tremendous opportunity.”
The team working on the project already has a storied lineage. Veterans from projects like World of Warcraft, Everquest, and Destiny are all contributing to this online title. Unfortunately, a lot of information involving this title is a mystery. There’s no indication how far along this project is at this time.
Interestingly, there already is a MMO based on The Lord of the Rings: the PC-only The Lord of the Rings Online. Whether this Amazon-backed project will have any sort of impact on that is unknown.
The Lord of the Rings is rapidly expanding its place in the world of video games. There are, of course, the Monolith-developed Middle-Earth games. In addition, a narrative-focused adventure, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, is coming from Daedalic Entertainment.