New AAA Lord of the Rings MMO Announced

Athlon Games has signed a deal with Middle-earth Enterprises to publish a “multi-year” online game based on The Lord of the Rings along with development by an unmentioned “partner developer”.

Athlon Games was formed in May 2018, and headed up by Dave Miller (formerly of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Codemasters and NBC Universal). Its parent – Leyou Technologies Holdings Limited – are the owners of Digital Extremes (The Darkness II, Warframe) and Splash Damage (Dirty Bomb, and the multiplayer of Gears of War 4).

The press release states Athlon Games “is marrying its deep expertise with free-to-play game design and service with Western development and strong IP to create top quality console and PC games that have global appeal.”

Here’s some blurbs from the heads of each company:

Dave Miller, President of Athlon Games

“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. 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.”

Fredrica Drotos, Chief Brand & Licensing Officer at Middle-earth Enterprises.

“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. Athlon’s game will allow millions of Middle-earth fans throughout the world a unique opportunity for fellowship and epic exploration.”

Alex Xu, CEO of Leyou Technologies Holdings Limited.

“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. 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.”

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Ryan was a former Niche Gamer contributor.

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