Publisher Athlon Games and Middle-Earth Enterprises are joining forces with an unknown developer to create a free-to-play Lord of the Rings MMO for PC and console, it has been announced.
Details are thin on the ground at this early stage of development. However, Athlon Games parent company Leyou Technologies (who also own Warframe developer Digital Extremes) has confirmed the game will aim to provide players with a AAA-quality experience.
Upcoming Lord of the Rings MMO Takes Place Before Frodo’s Epic Quest
There was one other key piece of information revealed during the announcement post, however. Regarding the game’s setting.
According to the post, the untitled Lord of the Rings MMO will take place long before the War of the Ring and Frodo’s epic journey to rid Middle-Earth of the dark lord Sauron once and for all. As such, it will explore lands, peoples, and creatures never before seen by fans of Tolkien’s work.
Surge in Popularity
Speaking about the project, Athlon Games president Dave Miller suggested the (relatively) recent announcement of a Lord of the Rings TV adaptation and the resulting surge in popularity for the IP might have been the key factor in its decision to work on the MMO.
It’s a singular opportunity to work closely with Middle-earth Enterprises to create a completely new experience for fans of the landmark fantasy work of J.R.R. Tolkien. We are excited about the resurgence of interest in The Lord of the Rings IP.
For its part, Middle-Earth Enterprises (the company that owns the rights to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit) expressed its excitement at this new opportunity to bring the world of Middle-Earth to fans around the globe:
We are extremely pleased to work with Athlon Games to create a new, immersive game experience, exploring epic regions in Middle-earth during the years leading to the events of The Lord of the Rings.
Athlon’s game will allow millions of Middle-earth fans throughout the world a unique opportunity for fellowship and epic exploration.