The developers of The Lord of the Rings Online have reacted to the news this week that Amazon Games is creating its own Lord of the Rings MMO that will seemingly exist alongside the older game.
LOTRO developer Standing Stone Games said in a forum post that it has received “a number of notes from excited and concerned community members” regarding Amazon’s new game. Some said they are concerned that Amazon’s game coming to market might signal the end of the road for The Lord of the Rings Online, but that is not the case.
“LOTRO is not going away!” Standing Stone Games said.
Standing Stone went on to say that Middle-earth Enterprises, the company that controls the rights to the Lord of the Rings series, continue to be “huge fans” of The Lord of the Rings Online. The game is now in its seventeenth year of continuous operation, and Standing Stone said the game is “evergreen.”
“LOTRO is like the long-lived Ents, Elves and Dwarves; and we mere mortals, are the stewards of LOTRO and its community,” Standing Stone said. “Standing Stone has every intention of growing and supporting this community. The road goes ever on…”
Amazon Games executive Christoph Hartmann said in an interview that he is a fan of Lord of the Rings Online. He said it’s “not a bad game,” but mentioned that Amazon’s own title will be “worlds apart” from it.
The new Lord of the Rings game from Amazon won’t be here anytime soon, so the game and LOTRO won’t be going head-to-head anytime soon.
Video game rights for massive franchises aren’t always given to just one publisher. Gone are the days that Electronic Arts held the exclusive rights to Lord of the Rings video games. Middle-earth Enterprises, which is now owned by Embracer, has deals with a number of gaming companies for Lord of the Rings games, including EA (Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth), North Beach Games (Return to Moria), WB Games (Shadow of War), and Private Division for an unannounced new Lord of the Rings game from Weta.
It’s a situation not unlike Disney with Star Wars, as there is no longer one exclusive developer for Star Wars games, but instead many.
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