EA Gets Back Into Lord Of The Rings Games

The publisher announces partnership with Middle-earth Enterprises for a new mobile game.

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Electronic Arts is getting back in the business of The Lord of the Rings video games, announcing a partnership today with Middle-earth Enterprises for a new mobile title.

EA's Capital Games, the studio behind the billion-dollar Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, is developing a free-to-play title called The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth. It is a collectible role-playing game that aims to offer a "strategic, social-competitive experience."

EA returns to Middle-earth
EA returns to Middle-earth

EA Mobile executive Malachi Boyle said in a statement that Heroes of Middle-earth will include "high-fidelity graphics, cinematic animations, and stylized art." The game will feature fan-favorite Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit characters, EA said, though none were named outright.

Middle-earth Enterprises executive Fredrica Drotos said, "We are thrilled to be working with EA once again, this time to bring a mobile game solely inspired by Middle-earth…"

EA made a great many Lord of the Rings games in the past, including Lord of the Rings: Conquest, The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth 1 and 2, The Lord of the Rings: Tactics, and The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age. The company also developed the movie tie-in games released around the time of Two Towers and Return of the King in the early 2000s.

EA's new partnership with Middle-earth Enterprises was announced today not long after it was reported that Middle-earth Enterprises parent company Saul Zentz Co. was conducting an auction for the video game rights to The Lord of the Rings. It appears EA was among the successful bidders, though it's possible this deal pre-dates that auction process.

In any event, Heroes of Middle-earth is a turn-based game featuring storytelling elements, "deep" collection systems, and a "wide roster" of characters from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. "Players battle through iconic stories from the world of Tolkien and take up the fight against the great evils of Middle-earth," EA said in its announcement.

A limited regional beta test for Heroes of Middle-earth will begin this summer.

Heroes of Middle-earth isn't the only new Lord of the Rings game in the works. Daedalic is developing a game focused on Gollum for release this year. Additionally, the long-running MMO The Lord of the Rings Online is still going strong, just recently reaching its highest player count in 10 years thanks in part to its 15th anniversary event. Outside of games, Amazon's long-awaited Lord of the Rings TV show premieres September 2 on Prime Video.

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