Another Lord Of The Rings MMO Is On The Way

Another Lord Of The Rings MMO Is On The Way

The Lord of the Rings series has a long and strange history with gaming—a history that’s lead to some really weird interpretations of Middle-earth.

But now a new venture wants to take a crack at a Tolkien-esque take on a familiar format: another massively multiplayer online game.

Despite the fact there’s actually a currently-still-active MMO set in Middle-earth in and around the events of the novels (the unsurprisingly named Lord of the Rings Online, which launched in 2007), the Hollywood Reporter has word that another, set before the events of either The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings, is now in the works.

Saul Zaentz Co.’s Middle-earth Enterprises (who was previously embroiled in a big lawsuit alongside Warner Bros. with the Tolkien estate about using its ownership of certain Middle-earth-ian elements in digital games) has struck a deal with the Hong Kong-based Leyou Technologies – or more specifically, a new studio subsidy of Leyou called Athlon Games—to create a free to play, massively multiplayer online experience “set in the world of Middle-earth long before the events of The Lord of the Rings take place.”

We don’t know much beyond that, or even how far before it will wind up going. Like most things involving the Lord of the Rings brand lately, it’s hard to tell just who has the rights to use which versions of it and where—but this will likely be its own interpretation of the vast lore of Middle-earth, rather than borrowing from versions we’re already familiar with.

Still, given that Lord of the Rings Online is still active and supported, an entirely new “prequel” in the same genre seems like a weird idea. No release window was mentioned for the new title, so expect to not hear much from this latest LOTR-foray into gaming for a while.


  • Well it’d be nice to have one that’s new and fresh. I’ve given the old one a shot and just couldn’t get into it. various things just held me back but, maybe this new one might be a fresh take on the genre or at least be as immersive as star wars the old republic was where I played that for every class storyline some more than once just to see different outcomes of the story and see all the playstyles.

    • It took a couple of tries for LotRO to click with me, but once it did I thoroughly enjoyed it. At least up to the Rohan expansions, where things became very much on rails and you couldnt miss any content.

      Its not going to go any further now, so probably as good a time as any to reset things with a new LotR MMO.

      And props to SWTOR, which I didnt think was nearly as bad as most people said at the time. Was a lot of fun in that game, and plenty of endgame if you wanted.

  • @alexwalker Can we not have cross-posted articles from other Allure sites redirect the reader to that site when we click the article? It’s a recent change you guys have added and it sucks, especially with Gizmodo articles where the comments are disabled. I had to change the URL manually back to Kotaku to get to here where I could comment, but realistically if you guys keep forcing the redirect I’m just not going to read these articles at all.

    The way you used to have it, where cross-posted articles were copied instead of linked, was a lot better from a user experience.

    • A recent change has come through, partially influenced by Google changes. Because the articles aren’t going through to their original site – even though there were canonical URLs to make sure the search wasn’t being cannibalised – we found all three of the sites were copping a shovel from Google.

      It’s not a perfect solution, and ideally I’d rather Google went back to their old algorithm (which seems to have kicked in a few months ago, from what we can tell). It may not be something we stick with permanently, because it does raise other implications (comments being one of them), but it’s one of those situations where we have to pick the lesser of two evils, as it were.

      Hope that makes some sense. I know a lot of editors aren’t usually particularly open about the machinations of this kind of stuff, but I don’t mind peeling back the veil a little so people know how and why if it’s possible.

      • Thanks Alex, I always appreciate the openness. Sucks you’re caught between a rock and a hard place on it.

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