Amazon is Making a Lord of the Rings MMO for PC and Consoles


Amazon is taking a second stab at making a massively multiplayer online game based on The Lord of the Rings, after cancelling a similar project two years ago. The retailer’s gaming division has signed a deal with Middle-earth Enterprises, the series rights holder owned by Embracer Group, to publish an unnamed new game for PC and consoles.

The MMO adventure will be developed by the in-house team at Amazon Games Orange County – the studio behind the retailer’s previous MMO New World – and is expected to launch by 2024. The company says it will be “an open world MMO adventure in a persistent world” and will cover the eras of the core books and films, including the Hobbit. It will also cover The Lord of the Rings prequel trilogy, but not the more recent events depicted in the TV show Gollum or EA’s mobile game Heroes of Middle-earth.

“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, vice president, Amazon Games. “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.”

The news marks a clear sign of the retailer’s commitment to games development and publishing. It recently refocused its game studios, cutting over 100 jobs and putting more focus on its studios in Orange County and Montreal.

It has also been busy signing up publisher partners for titles like New World, action RPG Lost Ark from Smilegate and the upcoming Tomb Raider from developer Crystal Dynamics. The partnership with Middle-earth Enterprises is the latest in a series of moves to boost Amazon’s presence in the gaming industry, which it has been struggling to crack in for the past few years.