White Council convening on 360, PS3, and PC

[UPDATE] After months of rumors, the next-generation Lord of the Rings-inspired role-playing game is finally official; 'open world' title due in late 2007.

In January ex-3D Realms developer Jim Norwood gave an interview with his former employers at 3D Realms--and revealed he was at work on a new Lord of the Rings title at his current gig at Electronic Arts. "I'm currently on Lord of the Rings: The White Council at EA as a software engineer," he told 3D Realms. "It's a new RPG game. That's all public information, so feel free to look it up on the Internet or EA's website."

Apparently, Norwood spoke too soon, as EA refused to comment on the existence of The White Council. As the year progressed, though, suspicions began to grow that the game was one and the same as Project Gray Company. The title was an unnamed "next-generation" role-playing game from executive producer Steve Gray--who also headed up development of EA's first LOTR role-playing game, The Lord of the Rings, The Third Age.

A site for the code-named title described the game as being set "in a massive open world where you can go anywhere you want, and the characters in this world are powered by an incredible simulation [artificial intelligence] based on the same technology used by the makers of The Sims 2." Rumors began to boil over when Gray gave a presentation in the UK where he showed slides of his game that clearly contained design elements from the Lord of the Rings films, which EA owns the game rights to.

Lo and behold, as EA kicked off its annual summer showcase at its California headquarters today, the publisher revealed that yes, Steve Gray is indeed executive-producing The Lord of the Rings: The White Council, an "open world" role-playing game for the PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. Gameplay will feature numerous quests within an overarching plot à la The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and players will be able to create man, elf, dwarf, or hobbit characters.

The White Council is based on an original storyline "derived from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings novels" and will use design elements from director Peter Jackson's LOTR films. Details on the game were thin, but EA did say that players' ultimate goal was to serve the fabled White Council, an august body whose members included the elf queen Galadriel, elf king Elrond, wizard Gandalf, and arch-mage Saruman--before he turned to evil. [UPDATE] Later in the day at the EA press event, the publisher announced that LOTR stars Ian McKellen, Hugo Weaving and Cate Blanchett, and Christopher Lee would lend their voices and likenesses to the game.

The Lord of the Rings: The White Council is currently set to ship in late 2007.

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Discussion

87 comments
maroela2
maroela2

It's just to bad that EA has canceld the game, and the game would of been awsome!!!!!

blancobo
blancobo

Well this is thing is now almost dead, so check the related news articles... Nothing like the news of an opportunity for more innovative work instead of the repetitive gaming / almost consumed ideas/initiatives. The later is the sunny side to my original statement.

samfisher367
samfisher367

hopefully it isn't going to be as bad as the other lotr games.

ewjim
ewjim

This can be interesting! Let's see what they got for us....

warriortyson
warriortyson

holy **** this game sounds incredible. It sounds like a Oblivion like game, which would be awesome, and set in the lord of the rings world.... its like a gift from God. 2007 is gonna own.

asian_marine
asian_marine

sounds like a pretty cool game, i just might get it.

gillri
gillri

I will have a decent PC, a 360 and a PS3 when this comes out darn, what do I get it for!!!??

Ubersoldat87
Ubersoldat87

I've know about this for a long time now :P

calibretto1
calibretto1

Next gen open ended fantasy RPG sandbox. Sounds like it has potential, but why not stick with an original IP instead of LOTR?

_Sam_
_Sam_

Nice! Can't wait

japam
japam

This isn't that MMO, bro. This is an offline, Oblivion-esque RPG sandbox.... ... or so they claim. Search for "Shadows of Angmar" to check on the development of the MMO.

paulyfknt
paulyfknt

wow im deff gettin this game! this is gonna kick all kinds of ass on da ps3! we can expect insane graphics!

juvinwo1
juvinwo1

That game is gonna rock!!!!!!!!!

Shingo
Shingo

I thought it was going to be a MMO. Wasn't someone making a LOTR MMO? Thats what I was looking forward too.

BlackdogGT
BlackdogGT

Oh, EA.. this could be your opportunity to make your name shine outside of the damn sports titles. Don't ruin this franchise like you did James Bond.. We're all begging you.

Doolum
Doolum

LOTR on the PS3...hmmmm!!!..graphics would be jaw dropping....Go PS3

rynmls
rynmls

lotr are making a name in gaming community...

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

Hopefully it will be worth it. LotR: The Third Age sure wasn't.

_shadow_mage_
_shadow_mage_

"..You're going to join the White Council? Freaking JOIN THE WHITE COUNCIL? Count me out. Next time, EA, actually THINK about the lore of Middle Earth, don't just come up with the crappiest plot possible and then stick it in the LOTR universe." If you check the latest preview for it, it says the player will become allied with the White Council. Believe it or not, EA isn't dumb enough to let the player join the White Council. Unless it's a really intricate storyline.

japam
japam

Errrr, someone else is making a LOTR MMO, and it's not going particularly well. Look up "Shadows of Angmar" for details. And as for "The White Council", I'd curb my enthusiasm until the reviews come out. This is EA, so don't get your hopes up for nothing.

soulknight63133
soulknight63133

I'm not a big EA fan, but I have to admit Battle for Middle-Earth II was a decent title (still playing it). So I'll wait to see how it pans out before passing judgement.

SpiderFreak
SpiderFreak

"Also the character will actually bump into other characters instead of clipping right through them." ...Yeah. That's NEVER happened before in games. I mean, characters won't clip through them? WHEN WILL THE AWESOMENESS END?! SF

7_armageddon_7
7_armageddon_7

Awesome! I've always dreamed of a game like this one! I'm looking forward to it. (EA's LOTR games weren't bad. I mean Battle for Middle-Earth was awesome, and if they show the same dedication to this game, it should be top-notch)

Dench
Dench

Hmm, this game is getting negative buzz. I hope you all are wrong. I saw video of the facial animation and it is superb. Also the character will actually bump into other characters instead of clipping right through them. Also, the world looks to be bigger than that of Oblivion.

vamroc
vamroc

Burger Time 3 Lord of The Onion Rings : Battle for White Castle LOL Haaa ha ha ha ha DAMN thats funny. EA should really make that game. There is a McDonalds sim that came out for the PS1 in Japan only.

metroidlink1030
metroidlink1030

EA's LOTR games aren't bad, guys. Lighten up. I think a LOTR MMO would be really cool, whether it's made by EA or not.

thekey
thekey

Suck EA keep sucking.

doomed51
doomed51

this is what happens when u give a classic to a company like EA, they make it die

friky00
friky00

Hope this one is good, all after Tolkien inspired all classic RPGs

blacklodus
blacklodus

I am buying this .. depending on if l upgrade my AMD FX -53 and gig of ram 6800 ultra to what ever top of the line is at the time the game comes out or not .. lf i dont then l'll get it for the PS3

VincentV21
VincentV21

I'm happy it's going to be an original title, but the story will probably blow. I hate when people try to expand on other peoples works....

MaChaorules
MaChaorules

i wonder if the combat is still gonna be turn based..

PKD_619
PKD_619

they should just stop making more LOTR games. it gonna be garbage

Oni_Ryu67
Oni_Ryu67

Hopefully EA dosn't mess up this one. I'll keep an eye on it and see what happens.

DUBBIE46
DUBBIE46

"White Council convening on 360, PS3, and PC" for a second i thought White Supremacist had taken up game reviewing.... guess i was wrong

cyckosic
cyckosic

This game will be awesome.

xbox_1
xbox_1

"gamerchikrpg open world?! awesome! i hope it's not dissapointing..." Don't worry, it will be

ccruzer
ccruzer

Hope it doesn't have any framerate issues like the current LOTR II

gamerchikrpg
gamerchikrpg

open world?! awesome! i hope it's not dissapointing...

paradyme777
paradyme777

Awesome, I will keep an eye out for this game.