Frodo lives: A new Lord of the Rings MMORPG is apparently in the works

    
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If you’ve been one of the folks begging for a new Lord of the Rings MMO, well, then today’s your lucky day.

Online sports game maker Athlon Games announced this week that it has partnered up with Middle-earth Enterprises “to develop and publish a free-to-play massively multiplayer online video game” set in the Lord of the Rings universe. For reals.

Details are fairly skimpy about the project, but we do know that it will be a prequel to the Lord of the Rings novels (and, time-wise, the currently running Lord of the Rings Online as well). “The game will provide Middle-earth fans throughout the world with a new, immersive game experience for epic exploration of the Tolkien universe,” the announcement stated.

Athlon Games is a new publishing brand created by Leyou Technologies Holdings Limited.

No name, date, or further information was given about the project. The press release mentioned that there has been a “resurgence of interest” in the Lord of the Rings as of late — perhaps due to the upcoming Amazon TV series, which is also a prequel — and as such, this MMO is attempting to capitalize on that.

Source: Press release via WCCFTech. Thanks Amorey, Setsua, Feng, and Margrave!
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April-Rain
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April-Rain

Always stoked for a new mmo and since i can no longer play lotro due to the immersion breaking performance I am excited by a new one set in the lord of the rings universe.

But chinese company’s get it so wrong in the west and that’s why I’m skeptical that it won’t be an instanced, pay to win, grindfest.

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Kevin McCaughey

This sounds like it will be shit, if it ever sees the life of day.

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J

Eastern MMO with a F2P format. Yeah, this won’t end well.

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Arsin Halfmoon

HOLY SHIT

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Carebear

the thing that they aim to launch as f2p worries me… With such a big name on the box, you should at least aim for B2P, to make a good chunk of money from initial sales to cover the development cost. They seem to have super low ambition about their project.

But that said, I will always pay attention to news about that game since I am huge Lotr fan and always hope for the best!

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Raimo Kangasniemi

Could be down to being targeted to a global market; B2P would be a problem in East Asia

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Tamanous

Interesting news. WAY too early to get excited over nearly no information sadly.

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Crowe

Yeah, I wish there was more info and some early screenshots and the like. But despite the lack thereof, people’s imaginations will supply what they desire and people will start to get hyped over the idea.

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Megalus Doomslayer

This may be a well timed move by them. If they are just beginning to develop the game, then, by the time the game is ready, it’ll be launching around the time that LotRo is in its death throws. I don’t see LotRo lasting more than 5 years if they don’t get their butts in gear and revitalize the game. They seem to be slowing to a grinding halt, and they’ve already moved on from Mordor. There isn’t much left that they have a vested interest in covering. Once the elves leave for Valinor, we’ll be lucky if we see any big content updates. However, a prequel is not the direction I would go in. We’ve seen the third age. It’s time to explore the fourth age. The fourth age is where all of the mystery is. An MMO that focuses on exploring the world in the beginning of the fourth age would be a much more interesting endeavor than a game where we can say “been there; done that” before the game even hits closed beta. Unless the prequel takes place in the second age, the setting won’t be compelling.

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J

I know anything is possible, but with some no name eastern developer, I would set my expectations low. I expect them to churn out some two star P2W title. Since that is pretty standard for what comes out of the region. The real gems are very few and very far between and most of them still fail to grasp what much of the NA market wants.

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Phubarrh

Really looking forward to the Evony-style advertising for this one!

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Crowe

LOL, nice one.

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Purewitz

Wonder what’s going to happen to Standing Stones Games’ The Lord of the Rings Online? Guess they might have to shutdown, because if we can’t have two Star Wars MMORPGs running at the same time. We certainly can’t have two Lord of the Rings MMORPGs running at the same time.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

I don’t see why we couldn’t; based on the description this could be even a Silmarillion Online, far away removed from the later setting.

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Winter

So they may ask for the Digital Extremes studio as a consultant