A free-to-play Lord of the Rings MMO is being developed by Amazon

2007's Lord of the Rings Online
(Image credit: Turbine)

Amazon Game Studios' latest project is an MMO based on Lord of the Rings in collaboration with Chinese publisher Leyou Technologies Holdings. It will be a free-to-play affair and let players explore Middle-earth with mates long before the events of the trilogy. 

There is of course already a Lord of the Rings MMO, Lord of the Rings Online (seen in the screenshot above), which is positively antediluvian by MMO standards, launching 12 years ago. Unlike Amazon's adaptation, however, it follows Tolkien's trilogy and lets you see what was going on in the rest of Middle-earth while all this bad business was going down.  

Despite a premise that echoes Amazon's upcoming Lord of the Rings TV series, the pair are apparently unrelated. The MMO was actually announced in 2018, before Amazon's involvement, when Leyou subsidiary Athlon Games revealed a partnership with Middle-earth Enterprises. As with the announcement today, details about the game itself were sparse. 

The team will include developers from Amazon's other MMO, New World, which is also still in development. It's a crafting, PvP sandbox that aims to be largely systems-driven. 

The Lord of the Rings MMO doesn't even have a name yet, so expect the release date to be quite far off.