Amazon Game Studios has announced a collaborative effort with Leyou to bring a new free-to-play MMOG based on The Lord of the Rings to both PC and console at an indeterminate future. There were hints about the forthcoming game during Leyou's September 2018 "business announcement" where a subsidiary publishing arm, Athlon Games, was revealed. Amazon will be working cooperatively with Athlon in the development of the Lord of the Rings title.
According to press information, the game will provide players with "a new, immersive game experience for epic exploration of the vast world of Tolkien". To bring The Lord of the Rings and Middle-earth to life, a new team is being organized inside Amazon Game Studios and includes veterans who have worked on a wide array of titles including EverQuest, Destiny, Planetside, World of Warcraft, Defiance, Rift, and other MMOs.
"This collaboration combines Amazon's game technology and the talented MMO developers at Amazon Game Studios with Leyou's expertise in designing free-to-play games and operating live-service games." The new title also comes with the blessing of Middle-earth Enterprises that provides official licensing opportunities.
Leyou owns several subsidiaries including Warframe's Digital Extremes. The company is working on other AAA F2P titles "based on licensed and owned IPs", all with a focus on the "games as a service" operating model.
There is no word on when the game will be released, but developers have promised to reveal more over the coming months.