With the recent announcement of a new Lord of the Rings MMO in development by Amazon Games, one would expect the newcomer to follow the typical protocol by being gracious toward the existing property while talking up its own project. But that’s not the tack that Amazon is taking, as the studio has come out jabbing at Lord of the Rings Online in an interview this week.
Amazon Games VP Christoph Hartmann threw a bit of condescending shade at Standing Stone Games’ MMO while talking to GIbiz. When asked about LOTRO, Hartmann said, “I have a lot of respect for them to keep it going that long. 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 color, but that’s the approach I want to take. It’s just a completely different world.”
A little bit later in the interview, he continues to shoulder LOTRO aside by saying, “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.”
Hartmann said that he wanted the new MMO to last at least 10 years and to become “the largest MMO out there.” He also hinted that the game wouldn’t be quite as faithful to J.R.R. Tolkien’s writings.
“It’s not going to help me if someone is saying, ‘That’s a perfect representation of the book in a game,'” he said. “If you’re really into that, read the book. Read it another five times. Otherwise, if it’s a game, a game has to do with playing, and they have to be playful, so there needs to be a little bit of being able to bend the rules to make it a great game.”