Amazon Games will develop and publish a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game based on The Lord of the Rings.
The PC and console title 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”, according to Monday’s announcement.
It’s in the early stages of production, with development led by Amazon Games Orange County, the studio behind fellow open-world MMO New World – the company’s first success “after many failures and setbacks in gaming”, according to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
“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,” said Amazon Games VP Christoph Hartmann.
Embracer acquired Middle-earth Enterprises last year, giving it the worldwide rights to motion pictures, video games, board games, merchandising, theme parks and stage productions relating to The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit.
“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 Embracer’s Freemode group.
“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.”
Last year, Amazon confirmed it had cancelled a separate Lord of the Rings MMO, reportedly because of a dispute with Tencent, the Chinese parent company of the free to-play title’s co-developer Athlon Games.