Dark or Light

Amazon Games Is Making A New Lord Of The Rings MMORPG

Joseph Bradford Posted:
News 0

Amazon Games and Middle-earth Enterprises announced this morning that the two have entered into a partnership to make a brand new Lord of the Rings-themed MMORPG. The upcoming MMO is in pre-production and is being made by the the Amazon Games Orange County team resposible for New World.

Amazon Games and Embracer Group, which now owns Middle-earth Enterprises, entered into an agreement to build a new Lord of the Rings-based MMO coming to PC and console. While no release date has been given, we do know to studio under Amazon's umbrella that is building the MMO: Amazon Games Orange County.

Amazon Games Orange County has MMO experience, as they are the team responsible for developing New World, which launched in 2021 on PC. The upcoming Middle-earth based MMO is still in the pre-production stage, which means that it's only a small team at the New World studio working so far. Given that New World recently announced an ambitious roadmap for 2023, including an expansion this fall, the upcoming LotR-themed MMO doesn't seem to have taken away too much from that development just yet.

“We’re committed to bringing players high-quality games, whether through original IPs or long-beloved ones like The Lord of the Rings,” said Christoph Hartmann, VP, Amazon Games in today's release. “Bringing players a fresh take on The Lord of the Rings has long been an aspiration for our team, and we’re honored and grateful that Middle-earth Enterprises is entrusting us with this iconic world. We’re also pleased to be expanding our relationship with Embracer Group following our Tomb Raider deal last year, as they’ve proven to be excellent collaborators.”

No specifics were given this morning as to whether the new Lord of the Rings MMO would be set during the Third Age, which is when the events of the trilog take place, or whether we'll be exploring different time periods in Middle-earth's history. With the game currently in pre-production, much of those details are likely still being worked out and hopefully we'll learn more soon. Additionally, no release window as hinted at here.

It should be noted that this isn't the only Lord of the Rings-themed MMO that Amazon has been involved with in recent years. An MMO being developed by China-based Leyou Technologies in partnership with Amazon was canceled back in 2021 thanks to a contract dispute between Leyou'd parent company Tencent and Amazon. This upcoming Lord of the Rings-themed MMO by Amazon is contracted directly with Embracer, with Amazon Games both developing and publishing the title on PC and consoles. It also builds on the existing partnership with Embracer to publish the former's next Tomb Raider entry.

Earlier this year during Embracer's financial reporting in February, the company revealed it has multiple Lord of the Rings-themed games in the works. This announcement is likely one of the games that was hinted at in those financial disclosures. 

Said Lee Guinchard, CEO of Freemode in today's release:

“The world of Middle-earth continues to prove an endlessly fertile ground for creators, and Amazon Games has a passion for building immersive, compelling worlds and publishing games for a global audience. We have the clear ambition to create the highest-quality entertainment products for this IP, whether we utilize internal resources or team up with the best industry partners that complement our capabilities. We’re taking every care to deliver an MMO which will do justice to the expansive Middle-earth universe and delight players around the world.”

This morning's announcement makes it clear that the Amazon TV show which takes place in the Second Age of Middle-earth's history is unrelated to the upcoming MMO.

Amazon Games is turning into an MMO publishing powerhouse, with the company publishing and developing its own internal MMO, New World, while it also acts as the publisher for MMOARPG Lost Ark. It's also been announced that Amazon Games will be bringing Throne and Liberty and Blue Protocol to the West


Joseph Bradford

Joseph has been writing or podcasting about games in some form since about 2012. Having written for multiple major outlets such as IGN, Playboy, and more, Joseph started writing for MMORPG in 2015. When he's not writing or talking about games, you can typically find him hanging out with his 10-year old or playing Magic: The Gathering with his family. Also, don't get him started on why Balrogs *don't* have wings. You can find him on Twitter @LotrLore