A video game is never late, nor is it early. It arrives precisely when it means to.
Amazon (AMZN) – Get Free Report is coming out with a new massively multiplayer online (MMO) game based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s famously fantastical Middle-earth. The upcoming open-world game — which is currently in early stages of production — will feature the stories of “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings”.
Development of the new game will be led by one of Amazon’s own studios: Amazon Games Orange County, a studio that recently saw success with its MMO “New World”.
“It’s going to be a game that represents the values and enjoyment that people get out of these books,” the director of Amazon Games, Rich Lawrence, said in a statement. “This will be a game that’s bespoke to the property, that’s appropriate for The Lord of the Rings.”
This is the second time Amazon has tried to make a run at a “Lord of the Rings” MMO game. In 2021, the company, two years into development of a similar MMO game, axed it, saying at the time that they were unable to “secure terms to proceed with this title at this time.”
The announcement comes on the heels of ongoing, company-wide layoffs.
100 employees in Amazon’s video game division were laid off in early April as a component of the 9,000 job cuts Amazon announced earlier in the year.
Amazon is not alone in pursuing open-world, video game introductions to massively beloved media franchises.
Warner Bros. launched “Hogwarts Legacy” in February, an open-world game set in the Harry Potter universe in the 1800s, and has since sold more than 15 million units, earning $1 billion globally.
“Star Wars Jedi: Survivor,” the sequel to “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order,” became the second-biggest UK game launch of the year.
Amazon Games vice president Christoph Hartmann told Games Industry that the upcoming, as-yet untitled game is at a very early conceptual stage, though he mentioned that it will feature characters from both “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit.”
Hartmann added that his goal with this new project is to “make it the largest MMO out there.”
“When somebody is a fan of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and sits down and plays this game for the first time, they have to say, ‘This was crafted by a bunch of people who lived in this world just like I do in my head,'” Lawrence said.
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