A new game based in JRR Tolkien’s Middle-earth is apparently in the works, and it’s not by Monolith or Warner, who were behind the Shadow of Mordor and Shadow of War games. Athlon Games, a recently-launched publishing division owned by Leyou is behind this, and while you may not know them, their parent company also own Digital Extremes, the folk behind Warframe.
Athlon Games announced that they have signed a long-term deal with Middle-earth Enterprises to create a new game set in Tolkien’s fantasy world. The game will supposedly be set in a time long before the events of The Lord of the Rings.
In case you’re wondering, or if this is the first time you’re hearing about Middle-earth Enterprises, they’re a division of the Saul Zaentz Company that hold exclusive worldwide rights to pretty much most things Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, including stuff like titles, names of characters, places, events, phrases etc. Basically, if you want to make anything set in that world, you need an OK from these guys. If you bothered reading the fine print on any of the Middle-earth games by Warner, you’d have seen their OK there.
As said by Middle-earth Enterprises’ chief brand and licensing officer Fredrica Drotos, “We are extremely pleased to work with Athlon Games to create a new, immersive game experience, exploring epic regions in Middle-earth during the years leading to the events of The Lord of the Rings.”
Since the game will be set in a time not many are familiar with, it will apparently feature people and creatures that have previously never been seen in the world of Tolkien.
As for what kind of game, looking at how Leyou works, it seems like it will most likely be a free to play game. By how Leyou works we mean specifically by how they’ve handled Warframe’s free to play model. They even claim to have deep expertise with free-to-play game design and services so..
While Athlon Games is the publisher and are working with somebody to develop the game, we don’t yet know who that somebody is.