Amazon and Embracer partner for new Lord of the Rings MMO
Amazon is making another attempt at creating a massively multiplayer online game (MMO) based on The Lord of the Rings, following the cancellation of a previous project two years ago.
The company has announced a partnership with Embracer Group, the rights holder of Middle-Earth Enterprises, to develop and publish an online multiplayer game set in Tolkien's iconic fantasy world.
The game will be developed by Amazon Games Orange County, the studio responsible for Amazon's previous MMO New World, and will be available for PC and consoles. No release date has been announced yet.
According to Christoph Hartmann, Vice President of Amazon Games, the game is still in its early stages but will feature stories and characters from both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
The previous Lord of the Rings MMO project, which Amazon was working on with Leyou Technologies, was cancelled in 2021 due to Tencent's acquisition of Leyou. Discussions between Amazon and Tencent regarding the future of the project were inconclusive.
After Embracer Group acquired Middle-Earth Enterprises, discussions resumed and an agreement was reached between Amazon and the rights holder.
Although the game is still in its early stages, Hartmann has expressed optimism about its potential. He aims to make it the largest MMO and hopes to attract a wider audience beyond the traditional MMO player base. The popularity of The Lord of the Rings IP, both in the West and in Asia, is expected to contribute to the game's appeal.
Hartmann wants the game to be accessible and appealing to newcomers to the MMO genre. He believes that the rich and beloved IP of The Lord of the Rings will help draw in new players and create an immersive experience that stays true to the original source material.
Source: James Batchelor is Editor-in-Chief at GamesIndustry.biz