Amazon Games is trying to make a Lord of the Rings MMO again

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Amazon Games has announced it will be making another attempt at developing a Lord of the Rings MMO, following the cancellation of their previous attempt in 2021 after co-developer Leyou Holdings Technology Ltd. was purchased by Tencent. This new game is being developed in-house by Amazon Games Orange County, the developer of Amazon's first MMO, New World, and with the cooperation of the Embracer Group, who purchased the IP rights to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit in August of last year. This new game, currently untitled, is still in the "early stages of production" and, according to Eurogamer, is "built from the ground up" and does not use assets from Amazon's last attempt, meaning we may not hear more details for several years.

While the announcement is short on details, it does confirm that the game is targeting a release for both PC and consoles, and that it will feature "the beloved stories of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings literary trilogy." This puts it in direct conflict with Lord of the Rings Online, which launched in 2007 and is still actively receiving support today. In response to Amazon's announcement, Lord of the Rings Online developer Standing Stone Games posted on their forum to dispel fan concerns that their game would be going away. "Like you, we, and our partners at Middle-earth Enterprises are huge fans of LOTRO," the message begins. "It is beloved, it is sixteen, it is evergreen. LOTRO is like the long-lived Ents, Elves and Dwarves; and we mere mortals, are the stewards of LOTRO and its community. Standing Stone has every intention of growing and supporting this community. The road goes ever on..."

Amazon Games Vice President Christoph Hartmann, speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, also said he believes the two games can co-exist, but it is more likely that people will naturally migrate to Amazon's title. While he stressed that he has "a lot of respect for them to keep it going that long," he also believes the gulf in technology will be too great for people to choose Lord of the Rings Online over his game.

"They have a, not huge, but a very dedicated fanbase. But looking just at the technology, where we're at now, and where we will be in a couple of years, it's just worlds apart. It's a little exaggeration if I say it's going to be like black and white movies to colour, but that's the approach I want to take. It's just a completely different world," said Hartmann. "I think they actually can co-exist. Even the most likely scenario is… for people just to move over, because the other one is an old game. It's not a bad game, but the industry moves on at some point, and it's a long time from their release to ours."

For now, however, The Lord of the Rings Online is still going strong, and likely will for another few years. And for any Lord of the Rings fans who want a single-player game, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum looks like it may finally be releasing this week after several years of delays.

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eyeliner

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I guess Besos *really* likes Lord of the Rings.
I'm impressed that he gives employment to a dev team to take another hit at a previously failed endeavor.
Might work, as the potential is all there.
 

codezer0

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After new world basically became a GPU killer in the peak of the scalper pandemic, I'm surprised that they'd even be allowed to make another licensed property, full stop. The stink of bezos wanting his hourly cocaine fix lingers on that team, still.
 

Viri

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If it sells well, maybe his company will make enough money to be able to allow his employees a whole extra minute of a lunch break/bathroom break! If it doesn't sell well, he might not be able to afford his anti-union propaganda!
 

Xzi

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TMNT-style beat-em up with LotR characters?
You joke, but that was pretty much the premise of the PS2/Gamecube LoTR games and they were amazing. Amazon could just remaster those and rake in so much more money than they will with another MMO flop.
 
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