Lord of the Rings fans are eating pretty well these days with the new live-action series coming to Amazon next month, but it looks like another game set in its universe is coming as part of a partnership between publisher Private Division and Wētā Workshop, the prop and effects company that has worked on the franchise before and opened up a game studio in 2014.
According to a post on the Private Division website, Wētā Workshop will be afforded the “broadest creative license to interpret the underlying lore of the books,” following a licensing agreement with Middle-Earth Enterprises. Private Division is a publisher under Take-Two’s umbrella, which was founded in 2017 and has published games like The Outer Worlds.
“We are thrilled to partner with Wētā Workshop to publish a game set in such an extraordinary and celebrated universe,” said Michael Worosz, Chief Strategy Officer, Take-Two Interactive, and Head of Private Division. “The Lord of the Rings IP is home to so many remarkable stories, and no entity is better equipped than the team at Wētā Workshop to create a distinctive, new Middle-earth gaming experience.”
We’re thrilled to announce that we have partnered with @WetaWorkshop to publish a new game set in the literary Middle-earth universe of J.R.R. Tolkien. We look forward to sharing more about the project in the future! pic.twitter.com/z9HxvXe7Da
— Private Division (@PrivateDivision) August 15, 2022
“It’s a privilege to create a new game set in Middle-earth, especially one that’s so different from what fans have played previously,” said Wētā Workshop Head of Interactive Amie Wolken. “As fans ourselves, we’re excited for gamers to explore Middle-earth in a way they never have before, and introduce new fans to the magic of The Lord of the Rings.”
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The Lord of the Rings IP is spreading itself around these days to get in the video game space, including a mobile project in the works over at EA and a game starring Gollum. While Lord of the Rings Online was a persistent success, the franchise has had some hit or miss success in video games. The adaptations of Peter Jackson’s movie trilogy are still pretty well regarded, even during an era where licensed games were often garbage. The Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor game from 2014 received universal acclaim, though its 2017 sequel’s reception was less so. None of that has been enough to wash the bad taste of The Third Age turn-based RPG riding Final Fantasy X’s coattails. So here’s hoping