Amazon Has Set Its Sights on That New Lord of the Rings MMO

The currently-still-active other Lord of the Rings MMO, Lord of the Rings Online, first launched in 2007.
The currently-still-active other Lord of the Rings MMO, Lord of the Rings Online, first launched in 2007.
Image: Standing Stone Games

Last year, it was announced that Middle-Earth’s latest foray into the world of gaming would be a new Massively Multiplayer Online RPG from Chinese developer Leyou Technologies, set long before the events of Tolkien’s books. Sound familiar to another big Lord of the Rings project kicking around? Well, that might explain this latest news.

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Amazon has officially announced that its Games Studios division—which recently went under a re-organization that lead to the cancellation of several unannounced games and the laying off of several employees to other Amazon divisions—has entered a partnership with Leyou’s California-based division Athlon Games to work on their still-untitled Lord of the Rings MMO.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, not only will Amazon be directly involved in the development of the game, which is set to hit both PC and consoles, but outside of China, Amazon will be responsible for marketing and publishing the title.

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Although there’s no mention of it in official press statements about the deal, Amazon’s sudden and major involvement in the game seems obvious given their other big Lord of the Rings project: an expansive TV series set during the Second Age of Middle-Earth’s history, thousands of years before the events of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. If Leyou and Athlon were making a Lord of the Rings MMO prequel, why not get involved and make it a vehicle that could potentially tie into their highly-anticipated new TV show too?

We’ll have to wait and see just how closely this game and Amazon’s TV series become intertwined—nothing’s for certain yet. But it would be about as surprising as a Took being a fool if there ended up being at least some level of tie-in. We’ll bring you more on Amazon’s vast plans for Middle-Earth as we learn them.


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James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!

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DISCUSSION

Reply to this comment since he has a bad tendency to dismiss people who disagree with him...

Existence’s Best BossJames Whitbrook

7/10/19 11:10am

“Set thousands of years before the events of the books”

Laziest franchise extension method possible.

FFS... not this again.

Tolkien wrote the Legendarium BEFORE The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien ALWAYS intended that the expanded stories of Numenor, the First and Second Ages, and all the rest be interconnected. He didn’t want to write stories, he wanted to create a mythology. He just died before he could finish his work. As such his son upon his fathers instructions took it upon himself to continue work on the expanded stories of Middle Earth and beyond.

This “franchise extension” has been in existence for nearly a century by this point. Its not just The Lord of the Rings, LotR is the epilogue to an epic.