Amazon Game Studios announced that it's working on the next video game based on J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series. The title will be completely separate from the Lord of the Rings TV series that'll be making its way to Amazon Prime.
Since the game will be separate from Amazon's TV series, it's also worth mentioning that the new show is covering a different time period separate from the books, centuries before Frodo's journey to Mordor. Considering 2007's The Lord of the Rings Online MMORPG was set during the events of Tolkien's book as well as Peter Jackson's films, it'd be surprising to see this new MMO title cover that period of Middle Earth's history.
For the new Lord of the Rings game, EW reports that Amazon is partnering with developer and publisher Leyou, the developer and publisher behind Warframe, which is widely regarded as one of the best free-to-play titles around. They will also be partnering with Middle-earth Enterprises which works with licensing entertainment for both The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. All that's known about the game currently is the fact that it'll release as a free-to-play MMO (Massively multiplayer online) for both consoles and PC. Since it's just being announced, fans can probably expect to get their hands on the game sometime during the next console generation.
Leyou CEO Alex Xu said that they'd like players to enjoy this new title for "years to come." Amazon Game Studios Vice President Christoph Hartmann feels like the studio is up for the task given the series' rich fictional world. They are actively bringing new members on to work alongside veteran MMO developers for the upcoming title. Amazon Game Studios and Leyou's upcoming title isn't the only game in development based on Lord of the Rings. A few months ago, Daedilic Entertainment announced that they're developing a game based on the character Gollum, one of the series' iconic antagonists. They're aiming to release that title sometime around 2021.
MMO titles are very complex games that need to consistently be updated for their more dedicated players. A small handful of major titles have been dominating the space over the last five years. If there are any developers that have the skills to make a Lord of the Rings MMO relevant in the next generation, however, this group seems like a pretty safe bet.