Console and PC game developer Athlon is now in the orc, hobbit, and elf business after striking a deal with Middle-earth Enterprises, the licensing company in charge of the rights to the high fantasy works of J.R.R. Tolkien.
Athlon, now armed with a long-term licensing agreement granted by MEE, will create an online game based on the Lord of the Rings books. According to the official release, the title will feature never-before-seen locations, characters, and creatures of the Tolkienverse.
“It’s a singular opportunity to work closely with Middle-earth Enterprises to create a completely new experience for fans of the landmark fantasy work of J.R.R. Tolkien, and we are excited about the resurgence of interest in The Lord of the Rings IP,” said Dave Miller, president, Athlon Games. “This, along with several other major properties Athlon is working with, will help us to further our goal of creating AAA cooperative console and PC experiences that gamers will want to play for years to come.”
It's an exciting time to be a Tolkien fan, as the series of books is also getting a TV show adaptation from Amazon, with a rumored budget of around $1 billion for five seasons. In late July, Star Trek 4 writers JD Payne and Patrick McKay were hired as showrunners.
Getting back to the Athlon LOTR game, however, Fredrica Drotos, Chief Brand & Licensing Officer at Middle-earth Enterprises added:
“We are extremely pleased to work with Athlon Games to create a new, immersive game experience, exploring epic regions in Middle-earth during the years leading to the events of The Lord of the Rings. Athlon’s game will allow millions of Middle-earth fans throughout the world a unique opportunity for fellowship and epic exploration.”