Amazon is officially doubling down on its investment into Middle-earth. Following up the reveal of a television series based on The Lord of the Rings being developed, Amazon Game Studios has revealed a new massively multiplayer online game based on the popular fantasy novels as well.
The online retail company started making major gaming moves with Amazon Game Studios as far back as 2014 but, during E3 2019, employees were laid off and unannounced games were canceled. Part of the move was done to prioritize the development of specific games and it is likely that this MMO based on The Lord of the Rings is one such game.
Amazon Game Studios will be developing The Lord of the Rings MMO in collaboration with Leyou, the global video game holding company that is part owner of Digital Extremes, the developers behind free-to-play action game Warframe.
The game is being developed independently of The Lord of the Rings television series coming to Amazon which will be a prequel to the popular trilogy. The show takes place during the second age of Middle-earth, which is several thousand years before the journey of Frodo Baggins, Aragorn, Gandalf, and the rest of the Fellowship of the Ring. With Game of Thrones showing how impactful a fantasy epic can be on television screens, Amazon has a potential hit set within a world with an already lengthy history.
The official name for the MMO hasn’t been revealed nor has the release window but we do know that it will be released on both PC and home gaming consoles. Game developers who have previously worked on Destiny, Planetside, World of Warcraft, and Rift will be developing The Lord of the Rings MMO. Devs who worked on Defiance are involved as well and they’ll be able to bring insight to creating a game based on television property. The original Defiance game was an intriguing MMO where characters from the TV show would be spending time between the two mediums but the game was relaunched years after the show was canceled by Syfy.
Amazon won’t have to worry about the show carrying the game or vice versa, though, because the company confirmed in a press release that the show and video game will be unrelated and are being developed independently of one another. Despite that, each will certainly be elevated by the existence of the other. An MMO built around The Lord of the Rings is a strong move for Amazon Game Studios and, unlike the studio’s other MMO New World, it already has a stout fanbase to support it.
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