Amazon Game Studios has announced its latest project: a Lord of the Rings massively multiplayer online game that Amazon is developing in partnership with Leyou. It’s planned as a free-to-play title for both PC and consoles.
The title was actually announced last year by Leyou-owned Athlon Games. At the time, Athlon was said to be working with an unnamed “partner developer,” which was revealed today to be Amazon Game Studios.
According to Athlon’s announcement last fall, the new MMO is set “at a time long before the events of The Lord of the Rings, exploring lands, people and creatures never seen before by fans of the Tolkien universe.” That may sound similar to Amazon’s upcoming Lord of the Rings TV series, which is also said to be set in Middle-earth long before J.R.R Tolkien’s main series. According to Amazon, the show and the game are being developed separately and are unrelated projects.
Between Amazon and Leyou, there’s a considerable amount of previous MMO experience: Leyou owns Warframe developer Digital Extremes, and Amazon Game Studios is already deep in the development process for its first MMO, New World, which should help assuage fears that such a beloved IP is being handled by relative newcomers.
Amazon’s Lord of the Rings MMO also won’t be the first MMO based on Tolkien’s world. The Lord of the Rings Online has been around since 2007, offering players a new adventure to play alongside the events of the trilogy during the War of the Ring, with the most recent update released in October 2018.
There are no details yet regarding when Amazon expects to release the MMO or on which consoles it’ll be available, but we’re expecting to get more details as development continues.