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Amazon is making a Lord of the Rings MMO game

Amazon’s Lord of the Rings game is in development at Orange County, the development studio behind New World (Amazon Games)
Amazon’s Lord of the Rings game is in development at Orange County, the development studio behind New World (Amazon Games)

Amazon Games has announced it is working on a The Lord of the Rings game — and a massively multiplayer online (MMO) one at that.

The upcoming game will feature “the beloved stories of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings literary trilogy,” according to a post on the Amazon Games blog. But you probably should not expect a straight re-telling of those familiar tales.

Amazon’s Lord of the Rings game is in development at Orange County, the development studio behind New World. This is a fantasy MMO role-playing game released in 2021.

You can see that game in action at YouTube for some loose clues as to what you might expect. However, it’s really too early to tell exactly what Amazon’s Lord of the Rings game will be like. It is in the “early stages of production” and will therefore likely not be released for several years.

“Bringing players a fresh take on The Lord of the Rings has long been an aspiration for our team, and we’re honoured and grateful that Middle-earth Enterprises is entrusting us with this iconic world,” says Christoph Hartmann, Vice President of Amazon Games.

Who owns The Lord of the Rings?

Embracer Group subsidiary Middle-Earth Enterprises owns the rights to The Lord of the Rings. It licensed its use to Amazon for the Rings of Power TV series, for £200 million, in 2017. How much money has changed hands to get this gaming project off the ground is not yet known.

“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,” says Freemode CEO  Lee Guinchard. Freemode is yet another subsidiary of Embracer Group, which is one of the largest game companies in the world.

The Lord of the Rings games

The Lord of the Rings game does not yet have a title. However, the Amazon Games blog suggests it will leverage the technology and experience of the New World development team to create “huge, multiplayer battles,” and use a modified version of the New World engine.

That game is not a subscription-based title like MMO classic World of Warcraft. Instead, you buy the game to start off and can then purchase in-game items. New World has since been overshadowed by Amazon Games-published MMO Lost Ark, which has several times the number of active players.

A Lord of the Rings MMO already exists, too, The Lord of the Rings: Online. This MMO came out in 2007 and is now a free-to-play game you can try out today. Give it a go if you love the concept but don’t want to wait years to see the results.