Lord of the Rings RPG "on hold"

EA confirms rumors that it has stopped work on the White Council and that the publisher is mulling over what to do with the film license.

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The year began with unconfirmed rumors that The Lord of the Rings: The White Council had been canceled. The open-world role-playing game, which had been unveiled last summer, was slated for a holiday 2007 release on the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. It was to be the latest game from Electronic Arts based on Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings film trilogy, which was inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien's best-selling fantasy novels.

Will this concept art go to waste?

Today, during a postearnings call, EA CFO Warren Jenson confirmed that The White Council is not canceled--but that work on it has been indefinitely suspended. "The Lord of the Rings product is back in development in terms of being on hold," he cryptically told an analyst who asked whether or not the game had been canceled outright.

But while EA hasn't pulled the plug on The White Council, its prognosis is not good. Jenson said that the game will not be released during the publisher's next financial year, which ends on March 31, 2008. He also announced that EA is "looking at the creative positioning and feature set on the Lord of the Rings franchise," but did not elaborate.

Discussion

118 comments
jrabbit99
jrabbit99

I wish it was still coming out! I think it's safe to say that it's canceled by now.

jigsaw4life
jigsaw4life

i wanted this more than anyother game the graphics looks amazing and an open world rpg with side quest and crafting whats not to love i hope this gets picked back up

NuclearWorld
NuclearWorld

Wish it comes out. all other lotr games ain't that good epecailly lotr conquest the graphics on that game were awful hope fully they make and tell us the release date soon

wndreaemo
wndreaemo

Though Oblivion may have been slightly overated, there is no calling to call it a "****" game, as that is a matter of opinion, and many do belive it to be one of the best games evr created, by Bethesda, or any gaming company for that matter. I do believe, though, that Bethesda would make this into a absolutely fantastic game, as they have shown with bothe the "Elder Scrolls" and "Fallout" Series'. Making this game a MMO would also be one of the biggest mistakes in the gaming world history. MMO's don't give liberty to any game thaey are used for. Their graphics are less that comparable to any game later than 2003, and their gaming interface shows no respect for the user (lacks "useable" user interface). I have attempted to use many MMO's, yet none of them live upt o the standars given to them from many of their players. Making a game such as this into an MMO would nothing more than an atrocious insult to the LOTR Franchise, which I believ has only been happily given liberty by the LOTR:BFME Series, and maybe the "movie" games. I would hope that, after this input, you would respect Bethesda, EA, Ubisoft, and any other gaming company listed in this forum, and try to listen to the other opinions before yo attempt to "destroy" their gaming Franchise. Thank you for reading this post, wndreaemo

trapper94
trapper94

This game looks awesome I hope in comes out!

BFMVxX
BFMVxX

give the damn license to Bethesda so they can make it well after they release Elder Scrolls 5 which should be out by mid-2010 it's in development now

djmillard2
djmillard2

oh please flying spaghetti monster allow them to make this game!

devil-neva-cry
devil-neva-cry

ok slanted for december 07 aiming for march 08 now april 09!! wat is goin on!! this game needs to be sorted out

Shishio817
Shishio817

I really wish they do actually make this game, as the LOTR universe is essentially the perfect RPG setting.

division_9
division_9

Dam I was hoping it would be released earlier. Anyways I would agree that Bethesda would do a good job if they took over since they seem to make good RPG game's like Elder Scrolls series and the Fallout series as well and also to be honest I've played like 30 EA game's and the only one's that I enjoyed were the Sims & Sims 2 and Battlefield 2. @Draconis89 Trust me, you wouldn't. @startrek934 To be honest the only games I enjoyed from Ubisoft was the Splinter cell serie's and thats it. And also I dont think Ubisoft would be any better then EA since Ubisoft doesn't seem to make games like this but neither does EA. Although Bethesda would be excellent with these kind of games since the Elder Scrolls Series prove's that they have some experience & expertise with Fantasy RPG game's.

startrek934
startrek934

Why not have ubisoft take it? Think about it they have all ways made good games. Any way some here may disagree, soft has good games like splinter cell's. & look of there games all ways look good. Now EA there not that crapy as a copy, but I was mad about the last Medal of Honor! EA did the FPS Black, & that was the awesome ish game! & I don't see any thing wrong with a FPS. Yes its true theres to many of them, but what u say we just stop making FPS's. Its like me saying theres to much RTS's lol. There all ways be to much of some typ of game out there. U just run out of ideals. I think a lord of rings for a FPS is a new thing to try & I think it world be cool.

gaby19
gaby19

well i say why not just cansall all the games form the ps3 that was pcopyed and made it into an ps3 game witch realy sucks if u know wat i mean

zeuscat
zeuscat

No not Bethesda. Was not a huge fan of Oblivion, VERY over-rated, but thats not the topic. I think EA made nothing on the LOTR series, because they really weren't great. They never made a GREAT game, that I played at least. This was probably the only idea I was really interested in. There is no point playing a game you know the ending for, unless they twist it up a bit and give you options, which I never saw in the Movie versions. The strategy versions were pretty good, but nothing special still. The RPG version was boring, stop making games that are turn based! No one wants to play those games anymore, I know I would rather pick up a real time action/RPG than a turn based JRPG. Come on EA, this seems to be the ONLY LOTR game I would be interested into. Just dont make it monthly for payments, thats BS!

Draconis89
Draconis89

"why don't they seell the rights and game to Bethesda softworks" What....so bethesda can make another **** game?....No thanks I would pick waiting 20 years then see another crap "action" RPG remake of Oblivion come out.

Roman_Slayer
Roman_Slayer

Lord of the Rings is a lot like Star Wars (incredibly successful fantasy universes) and so long as lotr games are made the'll be bought (just like Star Wars)

machineman
machineman

My money says that they want to wait and see what the future holds for the Hobbit Movie, because there was also supposed to be another movie set before the Hobbit. i.e. the White Council. While personally I think the coolest thing they could do is produce a game set in a time in the history we haven't really read about or seen (like Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic), I bet they are hopeing for movie news first....

Vraeth
Vraeth

This franchise could have sold itself, especially since the films haven't been gone all THAT long. I mean hell, look how long after there were Star Wars games selling (before the PoS prequels)- you have them coming out for years.

dj_b02us
dj_b02us

well they ain makin any money on lotr anymore. havnt since the movies finished.

skatefreak89
skatefreak89

why don't they seell the rights and game to Bethesda softworks

darth-revan
darth-revan

this is most likely the first in a move to start offing LOTR games. Battle for Middle Earths last note was most likely Rise of the Witch King (kick ass, i thought). there wont be any more LOTR games really coming from EA now. god forbid a game can, you know, be original and stand on its own.

Hokage00
Hokage00

A Lord Of The Rings MMO???? EA has just proved that they are stupid..... this is the dumbest idea ever

Lumenadducere
Lumenadducere

A LotOR RPG that's open-world sounded good, and I'm sorry to see it go (let's face it, when companies "indefinitely suspend" a title that means it's canceled). I just hope LotOR Online shapes up to be decent.

darkpresence
darkpresence

Today, during a postearnings call, EA CFO Warren Jenson confirmed that The White Council is not canceled--but that work on it has been indefinitely suspended corporate speak for its been canceled til they figure if they can milk more money out of the franchise.

VegetaMaelstrom
VegetaMaelstrom

RonHack: "I read it as saying, "It's not coming out". Period. What will drive its sales, since the movie has long been wrapped up? Can the Tolkien frnachise still sell itself?" I agree with your comments. EA is wondering what will drive it's sales in regards to this game and since no clear cut movie is coming out to tie into this game, they have shelved it (maybe cancelled it) for the time being. Heaven forbid they just make a good quality game that can stand on it's own and not be held up by a popular licence. That would be asking for too much from these guys.

RonHack
RonHack

I read it as saying, "It's not coming out". Period. What will drive its sales, since the movie has long been wrapped up? Can the Tolkien frnachise still sell itself? When a company pulls an "indefinite hold" like this, that means even the company is starting to question whether something like this will prevail in this market. Namebrand doesn't cut it; the D&D-licensed online RPG (or is that RPGs?) isn't doing too well right now. Only online games with a hook (Guild War's free play, or Auto Assault's auto battles) have any chance at all right now

Mosannam9696
Mosannam9696

haha the third age was like the worst game ever! thats funny!

BeyondItAll
BeyondItAll

It's a shame such a crappy company controls the LOTR game license, a good company could do great things with it, not the crap EA has put out!

bobbysbits
bobbysbits

we could always just play "The Third Age." just kidding.

Jedi_Osborn
Jedi_Osborn

ugh, that sucks, I was looking forward to this one. Guess I'll be looking WAY forward now.

vampiredust99
vampiredust99

this sucks hope they make a GTA type game featuring LOTR instead Sauron is a natural pimp

jakob_187
jakob_187

Chances are that the drama with the upcoming Hobbit film are crossing over into this somehow. Saul Zauntz, New Line, Peter Jackson, and MGM are having some massive battles going on with this crap right now. With that in mind, hearing the phrase "looking at the creative positioning and feature set on the Lord of the Rings franchise" could easily mean "we're waiting to see who we'll have to pay our royalty checks to". Only time will tell, but I am sad to hear that this one will be sitting on the backburner. As long as we don't end up with something half-assed like The Third Age (aka Final Fantasy 10.25) and get something of quality like Battle for Middle-Earth II, we should be good. I'm willing to wait.

phantom5242
phantom5242

"looking at the creative positioning and feature set on the Lord of the Rings franchise," Surely canceling this game doesn't look much going that direction. Means more to me like what EA does best ,aiming for kids wallets with some accessible action or strategy game based on the franchise, instead of an in-depth RPG. It all reminds much the Interplay and D&D rpg's with the difference that EA is too big to go bankrupt from such a decision. And certainly if it ever comes out (which I doubt) I hope it doesn't resemble Oblivion in any way.

iuns
iuns

shame.. i would have bought it... even if it does come out its gonna be 2008.... damit!

tigerfan1993
tigerfan1993

The next Oblivion? I dont think so. But it still looks fun.

Chief_Kuuni
Chief_Kuuni

I'd buy it, hopefully it's just getting better

wild_world_girl
wild_world_girl

Anyone surprised that the LEAST original company shelves the idea with the MOST potential for creativity? If it isn't some movie license that they can slap assets from their existing library together and put "Finding Nemo" or "Catwoman" or "*insert hollywood diarrhea here*" on the label, they don't care. Period!

ryokinshin6x3
ryokinshin6x3

samehere, really hope this game gets released

macquiefey
macquiefey

are EA idiots? the only potentially 'epic' game that they can ever come up with and they 'suspend it indefinitely', i mean cmon, a 5 year old kid would realise that an open ended LOTR game would be amazing... oh well, i guess we'll just have to put up with hundreds more of the same games with different titles from EA eh?

diablo1000000
diablo1000000

Really hope this potentially amazing game doesn't die on us just yet. Really hope EA commit to this - perhaps they are delaying this until PS3s find a few more homes...

reckeweg
reckeweg

That sucks, I was looking forward to getting sucked into Middle Earth. Oblivion was superb in that way. Oh well Mass Effect will be coming out soon enough.

okassar
okassar

EA better do good on this.The Lord of the Rings series has one of the best stroylines ever.All EA has to do is add on some Oblivion-like graphics and encorporate the story with some original additions and BANG!It would be revolutionary.I'm surprised a Lord of the Rings open-ended RPG has been released yet.

Jerian
Jerian

It sounded too good to be true...I guess it was.

OjoDelPensador
OjoDelPensador

First I heard of the game, and this is probably the only on-line RPG that I would be interested in playing. Bummer to hear that it may get permanently shelved... but patience may yet be rewarded, eh?

slipshoddoa
slipshoddoa

This is undoubtedly caused by the New Line vs. Peter Jackson lawsuit. "The Hobbit" went from being a sure thing to "on hold" because of the lawsuit, and EA might be waiting to see if New Line can renew its movie license. It would be costly if they finished a game based on the movie series only to find out that another studio now has film rights to "The Hobbit" and other Middle Earth properties. Plus they lose a movie tie-in advertising boost. EA probably hoped to finish the game in time for the movie release of "The Hobbit".

moocow21
moocow21

This sucks... I was looking forward to this game more than Halo 3. LOTR + Open Ended World = amazing.. Guess EA figured they'd better push out a dozen more crappy games instead of putting some hard work to make a good one.

barflytke401
barflytke401

"...looking at the Creative Positioning and Feature Set on the Lord of the Rings franchise"" = There's no way in Hell we are making a game for a franchise that's not going to be big anymore because there are no more movies to keep it in the public eye.

rbenns2
rbenns2

Shame. The LOTR franchise is tailor made for RPGs, but the quick cash in FFX ripoff Third Age is all we've got so far. Still, it took four years to make Oblivion, and I doubt EAs quick profit strategy would be willing to put in that kind of time, so this would probably have been an Elder Scrolls ripoff.