Last year the owners of Leyou, Athalon Games, announced they would be working on a brand new MMO based on J.R.R Tolkien's The Lord Of The Rings, along with a mysterious partner of some sort. It has now been revealed that the partner in question is Amazon, who have their own Lord of the Rings adaptation scheduled for release over the next few years, though they are quick to make it clear that both projects are being worked on separately and will have no tie-ins whatsoever.
Despite the lack of connections between the properties, the new MMO will be set many, many years before The Lord of the Rings takes place. The new game will feature characters, races, and lands which have never before been seen in any previous adaptation of Tolkien's Middle-Earth universe. Before any purists start to worry, Athlon Games, Leyou and Amazon will be producing the game in close partnership with Middle-Earth Enterprises to ensure that the experience is worth of Tolkien's work. Back in September of last year, Athlon said this: “It’s a singular opportunity to work closely with Middle-earth Enterprises to create a completely new experience for fans of the landmark fantasy work of J.R.R. Tolkien, and we are excited about the resurgence of interest in The Lord of the Rings IP.”
While Amazon is a relative newcomer to MMO development, Layou have a bit more experience under their belt since they own Digital Extreme, the developers of Warframe. Amazon also does have their first MMO in the works, New World, which sees players attempting to conquer the 'new world'. Time will tell if their experience crafting a world set in the period of American colonialism will help Amazon to craft the high fantasy world of Middle-Earth. As of right now, there is no release date or information about which consoles the game will eventually release on.
What do you think of Amazon's involvement in the new LOTR MMO? Do you think the new game will be better than Lord of the Rings Online? Let us know your thoughts below.