That new Lord of the Rings MMORPG is still happening, now with Amazon’s New World team on board

    
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Hey remember last September when Athlon Games – owned by Leyou Technologies, which also owns Warframe studio Digital Extremes – announced that it was working on a new “free-to-play massively multiplayer online video game” set in the Lord of the Rings universe? It kinda set the MMO world on fire for a few weeks there, given that we have a Lord of the Rings Online MMO already. But at the time, Standing Stone said the new game wouldn’t interfere with LOTRO as it’d be set in prequel times.

Of course, we’ve heard that before.

As of today, things just got a lot more interesting, as Amazon Game Studios popped out a press release saying it is now involved in a “special collaboration” with Leyou on a “PC and console game based on the beloved The Lord of the Rings literary universe,” which is the same game, only now confirmed for multiple platforms, though it doesn’t sound as if it’s tying in directly with Amazon’s upcoming TV show, the cross-promotion certainly isn’t going to hurt.

It gets better – or worse, depending on your view of Amazon’s other MMORPG, New World, which perturbed players by closing down its previously always-on alpha earlier this summer.

“Development is being led by the same Amazon Game Studios team behind New World, and a new team being assembled for this project will utilize resources from across AGS locations in Seattle, Irvine and San Diego. Amazon Game Studios recently wrapped a successful alpha test of New World, and looks forward to sharing updates on that game in the future. The Amazon Game Studios team working on the game includes veteran developers who have worked on Everquest, Destiny, Planetside, World of Warcraft, Defiance, Rift, and other popular MMOs.”

Huh. There’s no release date just yet.

Further reading:

Source: Press release

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Adam Russell

lotro ffa pvp?

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Solaris

I’ve been impressed with New World so at least they have a strong Dev team on the LoTR game. I’m curious if it will be an MMO Lite or a full fledged competitor to LOTRO.

F2P is a huge red flag though. Probably a pass.

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Anthony Clark

I hated New World. If their LotR game is like it I will pass.

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Castagere Shaikura

I kind of hope it will be something great but I doubt it. As long as it doesn’t try to sell me quest packs would be a good first step.

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Tamanous

Sadly I have zero confidence in a company that downsized before it even releases a product. Will keep it in the peripheral though.

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Sykes

Let’s be fair – standing stone games was able to keep DDO running through Neverwinter’s launch and life so far. I trust them to keep LOTRO alive through another LotR MMO. Given the track record, I wouldn’t be surprised if DDO outlasts Neverwinter.

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Schlag Sweetleaf
the grass is always greener.gif
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rafael12104

Lol. New Kid in Town is perfect.

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McGuffn

Fresh from the success of their alpha test the team decided to make something else instead?

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Raimo Kangasniemi

The company is getting its hands on a top IP (which Turbine failed to take full advantage of) – why would they have said ‘No’ when an opportunity arose?

Bioware at one point, I recall, pondered the possibility of making a Middle-Earth MMO before going with SWTOR so its not like Middle-Earth would not be an interesting choice for more MMOs.

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rafael12104

Hmm. Well, I don’t know what to think?

Part of me likes this very much if for no other reason than to spur on competitors to revitalize MMOs/MMORPGs in general.

But, how about delivering one game first. One game! And then you can chat about projects due to launch several years from now.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

And after delivering one game its time to cull the staff, and the very existence of the studio will depend on that one game’s success or failure.

The owner of the studio is preparing to launch his own manned spacecraft, is developing three different reusable rockets (New Shepard, New Glenn and New Armstrong) and is building a manned lunar lander, so its not like Amazon can’t produce and afford to produce more than one MMO at a time.

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Natalyia

The hidden city of Gondolin in the First Age always struck me as the better setting for a video game. You have the “good guy” hidden fortress from which you quest forth into a world full of monsters. It’s as close as Tolkien ever got to a more classical “high fantasy” setting, and would fit the tropes of an MMO much better than the Third Age.

New World looked pretty – if all we get out of this is some gorgeous Middle Earth? Well, far worse things have transpired. :)

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rafael12104

Oh yes. When Balrogs were on the loose? Before the flood or deluge or whatever it was? A great setting for an MMORPG to be sure.

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johnwillo

Nargothrond and Doriath, too. Refuges surrounded by peril.

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Paragon Lost

I’ll go with cautious optimism. I’d love to play Middle Earth during the First Age and the war of the Noldor against Morgoth.

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Rodrigo Dias Costa

I do think the Amazon Prime series will be set on the Second Age, so it’s more likely to this game also be on the same period.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

The map they have released shows Numenor so yes, Second Age seems likely – but the setting also gives a lot of creative freedom for a MMO – while leaving LoTRO in peace.