Earlier today, Electronic Arts announced that they’ve renewed their license to release games based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings novels. EA, having reached an agreement with New Line Cinema and Tolkien Enterprises, plans on continuing to develop and release new games based in Middle Earth through 2008. So what’s coming up for EA other than the release of the new MMO? Oh wait, that’s not EA. What the heck is going on with all these hobbits?
Though EA may have rights to the world and movies, they’re not the only ones. Turbine, maker’s of Asheron’s Call 1 and 2, have created a MMO based on Middle Earth, known as Lord of the Rings Online: Shadow’s of Angmar. There’s quite a bit of confusion surrounding the licensing for the Lord of the Rings franchise. Turbine owns the rights to produce a MMO based on the actual written works of Tolkein, limited to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit whereas EA has the rights to produce games based on the movie and based in the world.
So, with that confusion out of the way, we can now look forward to a slough of new Lord of the Rings games from EA, or at least until the end of 2008. Lord of the Rings Online: Shadow’s of Angmar is due to officially launch next month and will be entering open beta on March 30th.