EA Secures Lord of the Rings Book Rights

Haven’t gotten enough Lord of the Rings recently between the extended DVD versions and the video games on multiple platforms? EA is betting you haven’t as they announced today they had secured the rights to publish titles based upon the original printed version.

Under the deal, EA said, the video game publisher has secured the rights from Tolkien Enterprises to develop titles based which flow directly from the world created by the famous author in his books. This is in addition to the rights they’ve already secured to create games based upon the New Line films.

Also unveiled were the first two titles which flow from this expansion of EA’s Lord of the Rings publishing rights. The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II, to be published on the PC, follows upon the success of the first RTS in this series. The game will allow players to engage in the usual epic fantasy battles, utilizing Elven and Dwarven armies plus heroes and creatures which were never seen in the film version.

For Playstation Portable fans, EA announced The Lord of the Rings Tactics. This tactical strategy game, the company said, puts players in the Middle-earth universe as either the Fellowship or as a force of the Shadow. It features player-customized characters and a system of items, upgrades and skills. The Lord of the Rings Tactics will draw upon famous locations of the books and films and allows wireless competition.

“The new rights have unlocked the world of Middle-earth for The Lord of the Rings and strategy game fans alike. We’re building a deeper, richer, bigger game based on the #1 RTS from the previous holiday season in North America with new fantasy races, places, heroes, and battles from both the books and films,” said Mike Verdu, Senior Producer of The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth at EA.

“Now that we are expanding our Lord of the Rings universe to encompass Tolkien’s books, we’ll be able to combine the visual impact of the films with those complex stories,” said Steve Gray, Executive Producer of The Lord of the Rings Tactics at EA. “The RPG genre, in particular, is a great medium for story telling. We are delving into unexplored depths of Tolkien’s works to deliver new, compelling and immersive experiences. The Lord of the Rings Tactics gives RPG fans a first look at how we will do this.”

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