Following the cancellation of its previous attempt at an online Lord of the Rings title, Amazon has announced a new deal with Embracer.
You’d be forgiven for being confused by the news that Amazon is making a Lord of the Rings MMO game. ‘Isn’t there a Lord of the Rings MMORPG already?’ you might ask. Well, yes there is. The Lord of the Rings Online launched in 2007 and has just celebrated its 16th anniversary. The MMORPG has seen several content updates over the years which have basically covered the entire plot of The Lord of the Rings.
Then there’s the fact that Amazon already announced a free-to-play Lord of the Rings MMO way back in 2019. It was being developed in partnership with Athlon Games, but subsequently Athlon was bought by the Chinese mega-firm Tencent, and things got messy. Amazon announced the project’s cancellation in April 2021, with Christoph Hartmann, vice president of Amazon Games, telling Gamespot that “it just got very complicated” following the Tencent buyout.
However, now Amazon has got into bed with Embracer, and it seems very happy with the new arrangement, with Hartmann purring in a press release that the firm is “pleased to be expanding our relationship with Embracer Group following our Tomb Raider deal last year, as they’ve proven to be excellent collaborators.”
He’s referring, of course, to the fact that Amazon will be publishing the new, as-yet-untitled Tomb Raider game from Embracer-owned Crystal Dynamics, and that tie-up is apparently going swimmingly.
Embracer bought the rights to the The Lord of the Rings franchise in 2022 as part of its ongoing quest to own everything, and the new Lord of the Rings MMO will be developed by Amazon Games Orange County, the same studio behind the well-received 2021 MMO New World.
Other than that, Embracer and Amazon have released few details about the upcoming game. We know that it will take place during the time of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, unlike Amazon’s recent Rings of Power TV series, which was set a thousand years before the start of the novels. But aside from the fact that it’s some kind of MMO for PC and consoles, we don’t know what form the game will take, or when it will be released.
However, we certainly shan’t be starved for Tolkien content in the near future: The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is set to be released by Daedalic on 25 May for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S, with a Switch version set to follow later.