Athlon Games has entered into a long-term licensing agreement with Middle-earth Enterprises to develop and publish a video game based on The Lord of the Rings. Athlon games is working with a partner development team to create an online game set in the world of Middle-earth at a time long before the events of The Lord of the Rings, so if you were hoping for a faithful reproduction of Tolkien’s trilogy but in a more interactive format, this partnership is not going to be providing that. Rather, Athlon Games’ project will give players the opportunity to explore lands, peoples, and creatures never seen before.
Athlon Games’ parent company Leyou Technologies Holdings Limited also owns Digital Extremes and Splash Damage. Athlon and Leyou Technologies intend to use their experience with free-to-play game design and service to create a top quality console and PC game.
So I suppose, if you like LoTR and don’t despise Warframe‘s Prime Access and Platinum systems, you might be pleased with this one. Personally, the idea of a LotR game with “never before seen” creatures, lands, and peoples that also has a free-to-play structure just seems a bit dubious.
“It’s a singular opportunity to work closely with Middle-earth Enterprises to create a completely new experience for fans of the landmark fantasy work of J.R.R. Tolkien, and we are excited about the resurgence of interest in The Lord of the Rings IP,” said Dave Miller, president, Athlon Games. “This, along with several other major properties Athlon is working with, will help us to further our goal of creating AAA cooperative console and PC experiences that gamers will want to play for years to come.”
“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,” said Fredrica Drotos, Chief Brand & Licensing Officer at Middle-earth Enterprises. “Athlon’s game will allow millions of Middle-earth fans throughout the world a unique opportunity for fellowship and epic exploration.”
“We believe in Athlon Games’ model to collaborate closely with Western developers to implement incredibly successful live services, while also giving its partners the autonomy they need to develop outstanding game experiences,” said Alex Xu, CEO of Leyou Technologies Holdings Limited. “At Leyou, we’ve seen great success implementing this strategy with other titles, such as Warframe. Now we can expand our footprint in the West with Athlon Games.”
Athlon Games is based in Los Angeles as a newly formed publishing company headed by industry veteran Dave Miller whose former credits include Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Codemasters, and NBC Universal.