Last year Private Division announced that it was partnering with special effects masters Weta Workshop to create a new Lord of the Rings game, drawing on the studio's expertise with Middle-Earth from their work on the Peter Jackson LOTR films. Now, they have revealed that the new Lord of the Rings game is to be called Tales of the Shire and revealed a very little bit about it.
What is Tales of the Shire?
We don't know that much more about Tales of the Shire now, beyond a name and a brief mention of the upcoming new Lord of the Rings game. In the announcement, they state that it will have a cozy hobbit life, and will be a heart-warming game, along with a short video that was posted on YouTube.
The video doesn't show us that much more, beyond the character drawing, and sounds of the bustling hobbit. Given the fact that it's a cinematic trailer, it's not really possible to draw inferences about gameplay, or even art style at this point. We can, however, look perhaps at what cozy has come to mean in games. Generally, they are slower-paced, and more community-oriented games that focus on positive and comforting stories. Notably the genre has often included games like Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley, and Story of Seasons, which could be ways that they go.
One idea we might also consider is looking at the Wholesome Game Show, and what sort of games show up there. While they don't explicitly mention 'wholesome' in the reveal, cozy and heart-warming games generally go hand-in-hand with it. In a breakdown of the 2023 Wholesome Game Direct, Unwinnable concluded that based on what was in the showcase that
"Wholesome games would seem to be largely 2D or 3D spaces with an emphasis on nature, ownership and community in a contained safe environment."
Beyond those bits of speculation based on the words they choose to reveal this game, we'll have to wait until more information is revealed about this game, which is one of several interesting partnerships that Private Division has established as they did with Pokemon creator GameFreak.