While work continues on the second season of Rings of Power, Amazon is gearing up for another big LOTR project. Amazon and Embracer Group (who now owns Middle-earth Enterprises and with it, most of the LOTR IP) have signed a deal for Amazon Games to develop and publish a new MMO. The game is in very early development, but here’s what we know based on today’s announcement.
- Amazon Games Orange County is leading development. This is the same team that developed and launched New World, which had a very successful launch and still sits in Steam’s 100 most-played games with a decent-sized playerbase.
- The Lord of the Rings MMO will be published on PC and consoles.
- “The upcoming game will be an open-world MMO adventure in a persistent world set in Middle-earth, featuring the beloved stories of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings literary trilogy,” according to the press release.
Amazon Games’ MMO is one of at least five LOTR games currently in development. Embracer Group’s earnings report revealed an unannounced fifth game in February. All five games are set for release in the next two years. If this new MMO is that fifth game, it’ll be coming relatively soon.
Rich Lawrence, director of Amazon Games Orange County studio, knows what the LOTR franchise means to people.
“When somebody is a fan of The Lord of the Rings and sits down and plays this game for the first time, they have to say, ‘This was crafted by a bunch of people who lived in this world just like I do in my head, They get it.”
Lawrence added, “It’s going to be a game that represents the values and enjoyment that people get out of these books. This will be a game that’s bespoke to the property, that’s appropriate for The Lord of the Rings.”
Once Amazon’s LOTR MMO launches, it’ll be the second active MMO alongside Lord of the Rings Online. Released 16 years ago, Lord of the Rings Online is still going strong with its developer (Standing Stone Games) unveiling a roadmap for 2023 earlier this year.
No word on when we can expect to play Amazon’s LOTR MMO. The press release says we’ll hear more about “launch timing” later.