When it comes to Lord of the Rings, the idea of orc slaughter is more likely to come to mind that the idea of chicken slaughter, yet that’s all about to change. Yes, LOTR fans everywhere get set to rejoice, for Athlon games have announced that a brand-new video game, based within the wonderful world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantastical franchise, will grace our consoles in the not so distant future.
Now you may be wondering what this has to do with chicken slaughter, well Athlon Games are a new video gaming label that is owned and operated by one of Hong Kong’s biggest chicken meat supplier. An odd scenario indeed, but with the idea of a juicy LOTR video gaming gem, we’re all too excited to care where the game comes from.
Athlon promises a completely new experience
There isn’t a massive amount of details available for the game as of yet, we don’t even know which studio is developing the game yet as Athlon have only said that they are working with an unspecified partner.
Concerns aside at the lack of studio announcement, what has been announced about the game so far makes for an exciting read. For one, Athlon has promised a video game that will give players an AAA experience that is completely different to anything they’ve experienced before. It’s unclear here if they mean an experience completely different from any video game before or simply any previous LOTR-inspired games, but regardless, the news will be incredibly exciting to fans of the franchise. Especially for those who were left wanting after a rather disappointing sequel to Middle Earth: Shadows of Mordor last year.
What do we know so far?
Although some sites are reporting that the LOTR game will be an MMO, this wasn’t actually confirmed in the press release given by Athlon Games. What we do know is that the game will be set in the world of Middle-earth and will be a free-to-play online game, presumably to allow us to explore and interact with other players. Which does suggest an MMO, especially when Athlon have said there will be a cooperative aspect to the game.
The label also suggested that players would be able to explore areas of Middle-earth and encounter creatures that have never been seen before in the LOTR franchise. Adding this to the fact that Athlon wants this game to be something that people want to play for years to come, we can only imagine that the team are creating a massive map just begging to be explored and explored. All while developing your own fellowship of players you meet although the way. Just think, in just a year or two you could be running around with a few hobbits, elves and dwarves saving the fate of Middle-earth.
What story and characters can we expect to see?
Before you get too excited about playing your favourite hobbits and other races, the licencing behind the LOTR franchise is a very complicated one. Athlon chose not to license anything from the Peter Jackson movies (meaning that no characters from these movies will feature in the game) and have revealed that the events of the story will take place before the events that occurred in Lord of the Rings and will be focused on an era before Men entered Middle-earth.
As far as the LOTR lore goes, Men appeared in the middle of Silmarillion, while what Tolkien bases as gods and angels were the first creatures to appear in Middle-earth with elves born later and men and dwarves appearing much later. When asked about the types of characters to appear in the game, Athlon have kept tight-lipped, but did suggest that it wouldn’t be set in the First age when gods, angels and monsters prevailed. Bar that titbit though, Athlon don’t want to give away too much about the storyline yet.
One franchise to rule them all
The announcement of a new video game isn’t the only exciting news for LOTR fans, Amazon revealed last year a $250 rights contract for a multi-season television show based on Tolkien’s works.
Although not set to be released until November 2019 (at the earliest, with some reports that 2020 or 2021 being more realistic timescale) the series has already received a lot of press with fans of the franchise desperate to hear details of what the series might hold.
So far very little is confirmed other than the writers will be JD Payne and Patrick McKay (Godzilla vs. Kong and Star Trek 4) and the contract was for 5 seasons. Some speculation suggests that the story could follow the adventures of a young Aragorn – the character was 87 years old by the time of The Fellowship of the Ring – while others would like The Mines of Moria to be explored.
Either way, whatever storyline both the game and television series choose to explore, it is an exciting time for LOTR fans everywhere.