The free-to-play Lord of the Rings MMO co-developed by Athlon Games and Amazon, to be published by Amazon outside of China, looks to be coming in 2022. Athlon Games is a subsidiary of Leyou, which was recently acquired by Tencent, and disclosure documents filed as part of that acquisition have revealed the game—among others from Leyou—is "expected to be launched from Q4 2021 to Q1 2023. In short, expect the new Lord of the Rings MMO in 2022 on PC. It's supposedly set long before the book trilogy. My money's on Angmar.
If it does, that'll really put a real cramp in our Rich Stanton's style, since when Athlon was looking for a Senior Artist early last month he bemoaned of ever seeing the game if they were hiring such crucial team members only now. He ended up promising that "if this releases before I croak, I'll eat my own ring of power." Start looking up ring recipes, Rich.
That said, 2022 isn't much new to go on for what the game will be like. Though it was announced as in-works in 2018, and Amazon revealed as the unnamed development partner for Athlon in 2019, that's about all we know. We've no idea what the quality of the game will be, too, since neither company has an established and/or good track record on development to date. Meanwhile, the already-extant free Lord of the Rings Online will get a visual overhaul ahead of Amazon's upcoming Lord of the Rings TV series.
Nice find, The Gamer.