Lord of the Rings Online will get a visual overhaul to capitalise on Amazon's upcoming TV series

This dude likes rings.
(Image credit: New Line Cinema)

Last week Enand Global 7 acquired Daybreak Game Company, the developer and publisher formerly known as Sony Online Entertainment. The studio's name was changed after it split from Sony, and it's behind a bunch of games including H1Z1, the EverQuests, Planetside 2, and DC Universe Online. It's also the publisher of The Lord of the Rings Online, developed by Standing Stone Games.

In an investor presentation following the acquisition (thanks PCGN) EG7 outlines its future strategy, and gives some detail about upgrades for DC Universe Online and Lord of the Rings Online. In Q4 2021 DC Universe Online will receive what sounds like a thorough going-over, in addition to a major expansion. EG7 says Daybreak will "modernize visuals, upgrade key game systems and add brand new large content update".

2021 will neatly mark ten years since DCUO's release, but the Lord of the Rings Online is even older. Based on the books rather than Peter Jackson's interpretation, LOTRO was released in 2007 and remains much-loved by Tolkien fans. The license is obviously one of the biggest around, and thanks to Amazon's huge investment is destined to stay prominent.

Which EG7 realises is an opportunity to breathe new life into LOTRO. It tells investors that the developers are "Planning visual and technical updates for LOTRO for PC and nextgen consoles to capitalize on Amazon’s highly publicized large investment (~$500mm) in LOTR TV series." This is scheduled for 2022 (the TTV series is scheuled to begin in 2021).

Not that Daybreak will have the shires to itself: Amazon is making its own free-to-play Lord of the Rings MMO alongside the series, though it's unlikely to release anytime soon.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."