It’s time to rejoice of us Tolkien and Middle Earth fanboys. A next-gen visual update for The Lord of The Rings Online, an MMORPG based in Middle Earth, is coming along with Amazon’s Lord of the Ring series, scheduled to premiere in early 2021.
The Lord of The Rings online was released way back in 2007 for Microsoft Windows and Classic Mac OS. To put that into perspective, PS3 and Xbox 360 were launched in 2006. So this is essentially a game from last to the last generation. Initially, the game used in a subscription model but in 2010 it switched to the free to play system with an in-game store. The game is still supported and receives regular updates of both small and formidable size. If you want to check out the game now, head over to their official website.
Obviously, such an old game had started to show its age long ago. A December report for investors indicated that in 2022, developers plan to update the game for PC and consoles of the new generation-apparently, we are talking about the graphics component. Moreover, the authors of the report link the date to the release of the series on “the Lord of the rings” from Amazon, which is scheduled for release in early 2021, but the pandemic may well make its own adjustments.
From a world-building perspective, Tolkien’s Middle Earth has a lot of potentials. Be it adapting the original trilogy, the Silmarillion, the Book of Lost Tales or any other story penned by Tolkien himself. If that’s now enough, there’s tons of room for improv as well. The only game in recent years that explored the world of Middle Earth was Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and its sequel, Middle-earth: Shadow of War. Both of them were critically acclaimed games, fairing well in world-building, storytelling and smooth combat. As a Tolkien aficionado, I can assure you that those games hardly scratched the tip of the iceberg known as Middle Earth.
Hence, there is a lot of potential for an MMORPG based in Middle Earth. When you combine that potential with an already hit title, a massive advertising campaing (that’s what I’m calling the Amazon LOTR series) and a stunning visual upgrae to next gen graphics, you have the recipe for an instant hit.