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Lord of the Rings: Gollum Story-Oriented Video Game in the Works

Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Mar 25, 7:24pm

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Lord of the Rings: Gollum Story-Oriented Video Game in the Works Can't Post

Article at CBR:

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Just as Amazon prepares to begin principal photography on its Lord of the Rings television series, German video game developer Daedalic Entertainment has announced a new video game title adapting J.R.R. Tolkien's iconic fantasy franchise.

Currently titled Lord of the Rings: Gollum, the upcoming game is expected to follow the character sometime after he acquires the One Ring of Power but before the events of Lord of the Rings.


"I reject your reality and substitute my own." - Adam Savage


Welsh hero
Gondor


Mar 25, 7:39pm

Post #2 of 10 (3262 views)
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Interesting. [In reply to] Can't Post

Differently different playing as gollum.

-Irfon

Twitter: @IrfonPennant
middle earth timeline FB: https://www.facebook.com/MiddleEarth1


Eldy
Gondor


Mar 25, 11:45pm

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Video game rights [In reply to] Can't Post

From all the articles I've read about this it sounds like it's based exclusively on the books, though as usual there's confusion as to the Estate vs Enterprises situation. As per The Hollywood Reporter piece linked to by CBR:


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“Our goal was to present a storytelling experience. About four years ago, I caught Middle-earth Enterprises in Berkeley, maybe like Peter Jackson did 20 years ago, and I said we’re interested in licensing Lord of the Rings,” Fichtelmann says of the formation of the partnership. "After some negotiations, it was clear that the Tolkien estate looked for a company that was capable of doing something which is more story-orientated than some of the other products that came out over the last years."


As I probably say too often, Middle-earth Enterprises (formerly Tolkien Enterprises) is a d/b/a of the Saul Zaentz Company, and is not the same organization as the Tolkien Estate. That doesn't necessarily mean that the Estate had no involvement, but when I come across quotes like this I generally default to the assumption that people are mistaken since in my experience that's usually the case. Previous book-based video games have been licensed by Tolkien/Middle-earth Enterprises, just as the book-based movies were. I was wrong about the Estate's involvement in the Amazon TV series, but since THR explicitly states (a couple paragraphs above the one I quoted) that the rights were licensed from M-e E, I'm inclined to believe them.

That said, this is still unexpected, since the rights to make video games on the books were (and I thought, before reading this article, still are) held by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment since 2010. Said rights were held by EA before then, but WBIE was the publisher of AFAIK every Middle-earth video game from The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest (2010) through Middle-earth: Shadow of War (2017). (The MMORPG rights were at one point held separately, but were acquired by WBIE, also in 2010, as part of a corporate buyout.) The only exception I'm aware of is The Lord of the Rings: Living Card Game (2018); I'd previously assumed this was a unique case because it's an adaptation of a non-video game, but now I have to wonder if WBIE's license expired or somehow became non-exclusive.

In any event, it seems like the new Gollum game will probably have to avoid using an intellectual property from the Peter Jackson movies--as did games like The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) and War of the Ring (2003)--since the rights to make video games based on the films are a separate thing. Those rights eventually came to be held by the same company as the book rights (EA from 2006-2010; WBIE from 2010-20??), but perhaps that's not the case anymore? The film-based game rights are not licensed out by Middle-earth Enterprises and I haven't seen anything to suggest they're in play here, but obviously I have no insider information.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Mar 26, 12:54pm

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Video Game Rights [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
That said, this is still unexpected, since the rights to make video games on the books were (and I thought, before reading this article, still are) held by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment since 2010. Said rights were held by EA before then, but WBIE was the publisher of AFAIK every Middle-earth video game from The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest (2010) through Middle-earth: Shadow of War (2017). (The MMORPG rights were at one point held separately, but were acquired by WBIE, also in 2010, as part of a corporate buyout.) The only exception I'm aware of is The Lord of the Rings: Living Card Game (2018); I'd previously assumed this was a unique case because it's an adaptation of a non-video game, but now I have to wonder if WBIE's license expired or somehow became non-exclusive.


Well, there are also The One Ring Roleplaying Game and the Adventures in Middle-earth 5e setting, both from Cubicle 7 and licensed from M-E Enterprises. It may be that the Gollum video game is unable to use material derived directly from the films, but can otherwise draw from the books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

"I reject your reality and substitute my own." - Adam Savage


Mari D.
Rivendell


Mar 26, 10:44pm

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Interesting ...to make you play Gollum! I wish them good luck and lots of great ideas :-) / [In reply to] Can't Post



(This post was edited by Mari D. on Mar 26, 10:45pm)


Eldy
Gondor


Mar 27, 12:02am

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That's generally how it works, yeah [In reply to] Can't Post

The rights to make card and table top games are licensed out to a few different companies, separately from the video game rights. Technically the license for The One Ring Roleplaying Game is under the name of Sophisticed Games (also mentioned on Cubicle 7's website at the bottom of this page). Daedalic Games is not currently listed among the licensees on Middle-earth Enterprises' website (though for some reason EA still is, even though they had to shut down their servers for LOTR: Conquest nine years ago), but that might be because the deal was only just signed. Or maybe there's a parent company listed whose name I don't recognize. Anyway, they'll have the rights to use material from the books, including material also utilized by the films, just not--by all current signs--material first seen in the movies.


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Rohan


Mar 29, 3:30pm

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I can't understand for the life of me how this game will work [In reply to] Can't Post

What will you do as Gollum? Crawl around in the utter darkness below the Misty Mountains and eat goblins? Catch fish? Perhaps it would be set after the loss of the Ring, and it's more about him hunting for Bilbo and then getting captured by Sauron. That could be a bit interesting.

"We are Kree"


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Mar 29, 4:07pm

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Gollum, the prequel. [In reply to] Can't Post

According to the original article at The Hollywood Reporter:

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The action-adventure game will follow the years of the popular J.R.R. Tolkien character after he acquired the One Ring but before the events of The Lord of the Rings novels and films.

"You already have that big conflict in the character, two voices talking to you continuously, which means there is a good reason there are decisions to make in the game: the Smeagol decisions or the Gollum decision," Carsten Fichtelmann, CEO and co-founder of Daedalic Entertainment, tells The Hollywood Reporter.

"We have the story that we all know from the book, but everything that happens to him before he appears in the book are the main things we will see in our game," Fichtelmann says. "We will tell the story before he first appears in the books."


Déagol found the One Ring around the same time that the White Council was formed (T.A. 2463). Sméagol/Gollum hid in the Misty Mountains around the year 2470. I would imagine that some of the game play would take place between those years.

"I reject your reality and substitute my own." - Adam Savage

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Mar 29, 4:14pm)


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Rohan


Mar 29, 7:29pm

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Hmm...interesting. [In reply to] Can't Post

I suppose there's potential there.

"We are Kree"


fantasywind
The Shire

Jun 3, 2:26pm

Post #10 of 10 (1126 views)
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Interesting news [In reply to] Can't Post


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Article at CBR:

Quote
Just as Amazon prepares to begin principal photography on its Lord of the Rings television series, German video game developer Daedalic Entertainment has announced a new video game title adapting J.R.R. Tolkien's iconic fantasy franchise.
Currently titled Lord of the Rings: Gollum, the upcoming game is expected to follow the character sometime after he acquires the One Ring of Power but before the events of Lord of the Rings.


A game by Daedalic Entertainments, the studio known mostly for it's 'point and click' games, which I haven't played. Though I guess it could be some stealth based game, something similar to Styx: Master of Shadows, stealth mechanics would make most sense, sneaking about, strangling people, occasional thieving, not something based on combat.
That sounds interesting in itself, but there's very little information, which funnily enough seems to be the case with all Tolkien related projects recently (whether the Amazon's upcoming tv show or other games, and here's another news that Athlon Games announced it's developing another Lotr mmo that will supposedly take place, also before events of Fellowship of the Ring). It's quite surprising that Smeagol/Gollum was chosen as protagonist, considering how rich is the world of Tolkien's works, how many characters are out there. Any established character could be protagonist, even those minor ones, in any case everything we know of Gollum, including his early life is given by Gandalf:

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‘Long after, but still very long ago, there lived by the banks of the Great River on the edge of Wilderland a clever-handed and quiet-footed little people. I guess they were of hobbit-kind; akin to the fathers of the fathers of the Stoors, for they loved the River, and often swam in it, or made little boats of reeds. There was among them a family of high repute, for it was large and wealthier than most, and it was ruled by a grandmother of the folk, stern and wise in old lore, such as they had. The most inquisitive and curious-minded of that family was called Sméagol. He was interested in roots and beginnings; he dived into deep pools; he burrowed under trees and growing plants; he tunnelled into green mounds; and he ceased to look up at the hill-tops, or the leaves on trees, or the flowers opening in the air: his head and his eyes were downward.
‘He had a friend called Déagol, of similar sort, sharper-eyed but not so quick and strong. On a time they took a boat and went down to the Gladden Fields, where there were great beds of iris and flowering reeds. There Sméagol got out and went nosing about the banks but Déagol sat in the boat and fished. Suddenly a great fish took his hook, and before he knew where he was, he was dragged out and down into the water, to the bottom. Then he let go of his line, for he thought he saw something shining in the river-bed; and holding his breath he grabbed at it.
‘Then up he came spluttering, with weeds in his hair and a handful of mud; and he swam to the bank. And behold! when he washed the mud away, there in his hand lay a beautiful golden ring; and it shone and glittered in the sun, so that his heart was glad. But Sméagol had been watching him from behind a tree, and as Déagol gloated over the ring, Sméagol came softly up behind.
‘“Give us that, Déagol, my love,” said Sméagol, over his friend’s shoulder.
‘“Why?” said Déagol.
‘ “Because it’s my birthday, my love, and I wants it,” said Sméagol.
‘“I don’t care,” said Déagol. “I have given you a present already, more than I could afford. I found this, and I’m going to keep it.”
‘ “Oh, are you indeed, my love,” said Sméagol; and he caught Déagol by the throat and strangled him, because the gold looked so bright and beautiful. Then he put the ring on his finger.
‘No one ever found out what had become of Déagol; he was murdered far from home, and his body was cunningly hidden. But Sméagol returned alone; and he found that none of his family could see him, when he was wearing the ring. He was very pleased with his discovery and he concealed it; and he used it to find out secrets, and he put his knowledge to crooked and malicious uses. He became sharp-eyed and keen-eared for all that was hurtful. The ring had given him power according to his stature. It is not to be wondered at that he became very unpopular and was shunned (when visible) by all his relations. They kicked him, and he bit their feet. He took to thieving, and going about muttering to himself, and gurgling in his throat. So they called him Gollum, and cursed him, and told him to go far away; and his grandmother, desiring peace, expelled him from the family and turned him out of her hole.
‘He wandered in loneliness, weeping a little for the hardness of the world, and he journeyed up the River, till he came to a stream that flowed down from the mountains, and he went that way. He caught fish in deep pools with invisible fingers and ate them raw. One day it was very hot, and as he was bending over a pool, he felt a burning on the back of his head) and a dazzling light from the water pained his wet eyes. He wondered at it, for he had almost forgotten about the Sun. Then for the last time he looked up and shook his fist at her.
‘But as he lowered his eyes, he saw far above the tops of the Misty Mountains, out of which the stream came. And he thought suddenly: “It would be cool and shady under those mountains. The Sun could not watch me there. The roots of those mountains must be roots indeed; there must be great secrets buried there which have not been discovered since the beginning.”
‘So he journeyed by night up into the highlands, and he found a little cave out of which the dark stream ran; and he wormed his way like a maggot into the heart of the hills, and vanished out of all knowledge. The Ring went into the shadows with him, and even the maker, when his power had begun to grow again, could learn nothing of it.’

That could be a possible form of flashback or something like that, exploring scenes from Smeagol's life after he found the Ring and how he used it before hiding in the mountains. Though I guess it wouldn't be terribly interesting what he did over those 400 years in the underground tunnels, though at least there could be segments with using the Ring and it's invisibility:

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Deep down here by the dark water lived old Gollum, a small slimy creature. I don't know where he came from, nor who or what he was. He was Gollum - as dark as darkness, except for two big round pale eyes in his thin face. He had a little boat, and he rowed about quite quietly on the lake; for lake it was, wide and deep and deadly cold. He paddled it with large feet dangling over the side, but never a ripple did he make. Not he. He was looking out of his pale lamp-like eyes for blind fish, which he grabbed with his long fingers as quick as thinking. He liked meat too. Goblin he thought good, when he could get it; but he took care they never found him out. He just throttled them from behind, if they ever came down alone anywhere near the edge of the water, while he was prowling about. They very seldom did, for they had a feeling that something unpleasant was lurking down there, down at the very roots of the mountain. They had come on the lake, when they were tunnelling down long ago, and they found they could go no further; so there their road ended in that direction, and there was no reason to go that way - unless the Great Goblin sent them. Sometimes he took a fancy for fish from the lake, and sometimes neither goblin nor fish came back.
...
"My birthday-present! It came to me on my birthday, my precious." So he had always said to himself. But who knows how Gollum came by that present, ages ago in the old days when such rings were still at large in the world? Perhaps even the Master who ruled them could not have said. Gollum used to wear it at first, till it tired him; and then he kept it in a pouch next his skin, till it galled him; and now usually he hid it in a hole in the rock on his island, and was always going back to look at it. And still sometimes he put it on, when he could not bear to be parted from it any longer, or when he was very, very, hungry, and tired of fish. Then he would creep along dark passages looking for stray goblins. He might even venture into places where the torches were lit and made his eyes blink and smart; for he would be safe. Oh yes, quite safe. No one would see him, no one would notice him, till he had his fingers on their throat. Only a few hours ago he had worn it, and caught a small goblin-imp. How it squeaked! He still had a bone or two left to gnaw, but he wanted something softer.

Though I wonder how the book lore will get adapted and how that affects the gameplay hehe, what sort of equipment and character development, skills and abilities there can be. Gollum is certainly not a warrior or hero :), he doesn't carry a weapon (usually, though it is hinted that in Mordor he wore stolen orc-chainmail that Frodo cast off :)), he doesn't have lots of equipment mostly few things he keeps in his pockets.

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"S-s-s-s-s," said Gollum more upset than ever. He thought of all the things he kept in his own pockets: fishbones, goblins' teeth, wet shells, a bit of bat-wing, a sharp stone to sharpen his fangs on, and other nasty things. He tried to think what other people kept in their pockets.
"Knife!" he said at last.
"Wrong!" said Bilbo, who had lost his some time ago. "Last guess!"

But jokes aside this has some potential, but it depends how they do it. Also aside from Gollum prowling about dark caves and tunnels, wandering into inhabited areas of Orc underground cities there could be some monsters or creatures underground to avoid, maybe the best time period to show his adventures would be post the Hobbit, after he left Misty Mountains:

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‘Well, as for the name, Bilbo very foolishly told Gollum himself; and after that it would not be difficult to discover his country, once Gollum came out. Oh yes, he came out. His longing for the Ring proved stronger than his fear of the Orcs, or even of the light. After a year or two he left the mountains. You see, though still bound by desire of it, the Ring was no longer devouring him; he began to revive a little. He felt old, terribly old, yet less timid, and he was mortally hungry.
‘Light, light of Sun and Moon, he still feared and hated, and he always will, I think; but he was cunning. He found he could hide from daylight and moonshine, and make his way swiftly and softly by dead of night with his pale cold eyes, and catch small frightened or unwary things. He grew stronger and bolder with new food and new air. He found his way into Mirkwood, as one would expect.’
‘Is that where you found him?’ asked Frodo.
‘I saw him there,’ answered Gandalf, ‘but before that he had wandered far, following Bilbo’s trail. It was difficult to learn anything from him for certain, for his talk was constantly interrupted by curses and threats. “What had it got in its pocketses?” he said. “It wouldn’t say, no precious. Little cheat. Not a fair question. It cheated first, it did. It broke the rules. We ought to have squeezed it, yes precious. And we will, precious!”
‘That is a sample of his talk. I don’t suppose you want any more. I had weary days of it. But from hints dropped among the snarls I even gathered that his padding feet had taken him at last to Esgaroth, and even to the streets of Dale, listening secretly and peering. Well, the news of the great events went far and wide in Wilderland, and many had heard Bilbo’s name and knew where he came from. We had made no secret of our return journey to his home in the West. Gollum’s sharp ears would soon learn what he wanted.’
‘Then why didn’t he track Bilbo further?’ asked Frodo. ‘Why didn’t he come to the Shire?’
‘Ah,’ said Gandalf, ‘now we come to it. I think Gollum tried to. He set out and came back westward, as far as the Great River. But then he turned aside. He was not daunted by the distance, I am sure. No, something else drew him away. So my friends think, those that hunted him for me.
‘The Wood-elves tracked him first, an easy task for them, for his trail was still fresh then. Through Mirkwood and back again it led them, though they never caught him. The wood was full of the rumour of him, dreadful tales even among beasts and birds. The Woodmen said that there was some new terror abroad, a ghost that drank blood. It climbed trees to find nests; it crept into holes to find the young; it slipped through windows to find cradles.
‘But at the western edge of Mirkwood the trail turned away. It wandered off southwards and passed out of the Wood-elves’ ken, and was lost. And then I made a great mistake. Yes, Frodo, and not the first; though I fear it may prove the worst. I let the matter be. I let him go; for I had much else to think of at that time, and I still trusted the lore of Saruman.

Gollum exploring in cities of Dale and Esgaroth, searching for news of Bilbo could be entertaining (not to mention it would give unique chance to build those locations in detail). We'll see how this will turn out.



(This post was edited by fantasywind on Jun 3, 2:28pm)

 
 

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