The official Lord of the Rings special effects studio is making a cozy hobbit game

The spirit of Tolkien's Shire has always lent itself to the cozy game aesthetic. It's been a dream of those with a love of all things that grow for some time but finally, someone has decided to turn their hand at a cozy Shire game. And it's not just any old game studio taking the lead here. Tales of the Shire will be coming straight from the hands of the official Lord of the Rings special effects studio, Wētā Workshop, in New Zealand.

As part of the celebrations for Hobbit Day, Wētā Workshop showed off a teaser trailer in its recent tweet, though it doesn't give much away. It's a short and intimate journaling session with a particularly artsy hobbit, who's making the finishing touches to a watercolour of a monotone character in their notebook. 

They hear playful sounds from outside and run to join in. With that, the wind whips through the hobbit hole, flipping through the journal's previous pages, and revealing more secrets of the shire. 

Though there's no actual gameplay shown, my guess is the journal features some concept art and likely points to some of the assets we might come across in the game. If that's true, we could see a few different styles of house for our hobbits, cute little goblin scarecrows, and lots of tasty food. 

After all, what kind of a Shire game would it be without a cooking mechanic?

There's even a page that could hint at locations the devs have planned for the game. Bywater, Ivy Bush, and even the famed Green Dragon Inn might make an appearance. I'm sure diehard fans will be hankering to taste the "only ale for the brave and true", as will I be after a long day of harvesting turnips (another drawing spotted in the journal).

Wētā Workshop will be working with publisher Private Division to get the game to us on PC and console in 2024 so we can finally live out our days in peace. And although Tales of the Shire hasn't shown up on Steam yet, you can check up on the progress through Private Division's official store page

We'll have to wait until next year for the game's features to be fully revealed, but at least we can say it's happening. No longer will we, as gentle halfling folk, be dragged off on wild adventures—bothersome things—only to find our home and all its contents being auctioned off to our greedy cousins. 

"Not today! Good morning!"

Katie Wickens
Hardware Writer

Screw sports, Katie would rather watch Intel, AMD and Nvidia go at it. Having been obsessed with computers and graphics for three long decades, she took Game Art and Design up to Masters level at uni, and has been rambling about games, tech and science—rather sarcastically—for four years since. She can be found admiring technological advancements, scrambling for scintillating Raspberry Pi projects, preaching cybersecurity awareness, sighing over semiconductors, and gawping at the latest GPU upgrades. Right now she's waiting patiently for her chance to upload her consciousness into the cloud.