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Amazon Game Studios involved in Lord of the Rings MMORPG

Hasuwandil
Rivendell

Jul 10, 2:36pm

Post #1 of 10 (1992 views)
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Amazon Game Studios involved in Lord of the Rings MMORPG Can't Post

Various sources are reporting that Amazon Game Studios has announced a collaboration with Leyou Technologies Holdings Limited and Middle-earth Enterprises to develop a Tolkien-themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game for consoles and PCs. This is apparently the same game that was previously announced as being developed by Athlon Games, a subsidiary of Leyou. It was described as taking place "at a time long before the events of The Lord of the Rings, exploring lands, people and creatures never seen before by fans of the Tolkien universe." Nevertheless, despite the description, and despite the fact that Amazon Studios is concurrently developing a TV series set in the Second Age, the game is said to be unrelated to the series.

EW: Next big Lord of the Rings console videogame in the works at Amazon

Hollywood Reporter: 'Lord of the Rings' Online Multiplayer Game in the Works at Amazon


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Rohan


Jul 10, 9:38pm

Post #2 of 10 (1951 views)
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Sounds cool! [In reply to] Can't Post

If it does take place in the Second Age, I'd really love that.

"It is my duty to fight" - Mulan


Hasuwandil
Rivendell

Jul 11, 2:52pm

Post #3 of 10 (1882 views)
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New time, lands, people, and creatures [In reply to] Can't Post

Me too. I've read comments suggesting that the game could use digital assets from the show, which seems like a reasonable thing to do. I've read various, seemingly contradictory statements about the setting of the game, but I found an article from last year with some interesting tidbits:

VentureBeat


Quote
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.


This statement, from Middle-earth Enterprises, is vague, but suggests something taking place in the later Third Age, before Bilbo's 111th birthday. The president of Athlon games said that the license is to the full text of Lord of the Rings, including the appendices, but not to the Peter Jackson movies. He also said that the license was with Middle-earth Enterprises only, not with the Tolkien Estate. According to the author of the article:


Quote
Miller said that the companyís game will focus on an era before Men came along (which in terms of lore goes, happened in the middle of The Silmarillion).


This seems very odd. Could they be developing a game set in the First Age, with only Elves (and maybe Orcs and Dwarves), but without the stories and many characters from The Silmarillion? Or did the author of the article, who indicates his interest in The Silmarillion throughout the article, misunderstand something, perhaps due to wishful thinking? Perhaps what the president of Athlon games was really saying was that the game took place before any of the Men from Lord of the Rings were around. Here is an actual quote from him:


Quote
You wonít see human characters from The Lord of the Rings in our game. I would not say itís "First Age" because that is more gods and monsters. I donít want to say too much about our game yet.


The official announcement from Athlon Games suggests that at least part of the game will take place in lands not seen before:


Quote
Athlon Games is working with a partner developer to create an online game set in the world of Middle-earthô at a time long before the events of The Lord of the Rings, exploring lands, people and creatures never seen before by fans of the Tolkien universe.


Far East? Far West?

Here is a link to the official announcement (from nearly a year ago) from Athon Games:

Athlon Games

Here is a link to the official announcement from Amazon Game Studios:

Amazon Game Studios


fantasywind
The Shire

Jul 18, 3:09pm

Post #4 of 10 (1854 views)
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'Focusng on era before Men come along' :) [In reply to] Can't Post

I guess it was simply misunderstanding of the author of the article. Though it would be funny to imagine if indeed that was the case, so it could mean actually many things, times before Men as a race are very ancient history, hehe, or even why not go further in an era before any sentient races at all, set it during Spring of Arda, marked for it's lush paradise like environs with giant trees of Yavanna "and trees whose tops were crowned with cloud as they were living mountains." :) Hehe it's basically dinosaur era of Arda ;), time of ancient creatures and many monsters and dark things perverted by Melkor:


Quote
"The great shadow descended like a falling cloud. And behold! it was a winged creature: if bird, then greater than all other birds, and it was naked, and neither quill nor feather did it bear, and its vast pinions were as webs of hide between horned fingers; and it stank. A creature of an older world maybe it was, whose kind, lingering in forgotten mountains cold beneath the Moon, outstayed their day, and in hideous eyrie bred this last untimely brood, apt to evil. And the Dark Lord took it, and nursed it with fell meats, until it grew beyond the measure of all other things that fly; and he gave it to his servant to be his steed."
...
"Did the Witch-king ride a pterodactyl at the siege of Gondor?

Pterodactyl. Yes and no. I did not intend the steed of the Witch-King to be what is now called a 'pterodactyl', and often is drawn (with rather less shadowy evidence than lies behind many monsters of the new and fascinating semi-scientific mythology of the 'Prehistoric'). But obviously it is pterodactylic and owes much to the new mythology, and its description even provides a sort of way in which it could be a last survivor of older geological eras."
...
"But when the Valar entered into Eš they were at first astounded and at a loss, for it was as if naught was yet made which they had seen in vision, and all was but on point to begin and yet unshaped, and it was dark. For the Great Music had been but the growth and flowering of thought in the Tuneless Halls, and the Vision only a foreshowing; but now they had entered in at the beginning of Time, and the Valar perceived that the World had been but foreshadowed and foresung, and they must achieve it. So began their great labours in wastes unmeasured and unexplored, and in ages uncounted and forgotten, until in the Deeps of Time and in the midst of the vast halls of Eš there came to be that hour and that place where was made the habitation of the Children of Ilķvatar. And in this work the chief part was taken by ManwŽ and AulŽ and Ulmo; but Melkor too was there from the first, and he meddled in all that was done, turning it if he might to his own desires and purposes; and he kindled great fires. When therefore Earth was yet young and full of flame Melkor coveted it, and he said to the other Valar: 'This shall be my own kingdom; and I name it unto myself!'"
...
"Thus began the first battle of the Valar with Melkor for the dominion of Arda; and of those tumults the Elves know but little. For what has here been declared is come from the Valar themselves, with whom the EldaliŽ spoke in the land of Valinor, and by whom they were instructed; but little would the Valar ever tell of the wars before the coming of the Elves. Yet it is told among the Eldar that the Valar endeavoured ever, in despite of Melkor, to rule the Earth and to prepare it for the coming of the Firstborn; and they built lands and Melkor destroyed them; valleys they delved and Melkor raised them up; mountains they carved and Melkor threw them down; seas they hollowed and Melkor spilled them; and naught might have peace or come to lasting growth, for as surely as the Valar began a labour so would Melkor undo it or corrupt it. And yet their labour was not all in vain; and though nowhere and in no work was their will and purpose wholly fulfilled, and all things were in hue and shape other than the Valar had at first intended, slowly nonetheless the Earth was fashioned and made firm. And thus was the habitation of the Children of Ilķvatar established at the last in the Deeps of Time and amidst the innumerable stars."
...
"But as the ages drew on to the hour appointed by Ilķvatar for the coming of the Firstborn, Middle-earth lay in a twilight beneath the stars that Varda had wrought in the ages forgotten of her labours in Eš. And in the darkness Melkor dwelt, and still often walked abroad, in many shapes of power and fear, and he wielded cold and fire, from the tops of the mountains to the deep furnaces that are beneath them; and whatsoever was cruel or violent or deadly in those days is laid to his charge."
...
"And in that time of dark Yavanna also was unwilling utterly to forsake the Outer Lands; for all things teat grow are dear to her, and she mourned for the works that she had begun in Middle-earth but Melkor had marred. Therefore leaving the house of AulŽ and the flowering meads of Valinor she would come at times and heal the hurts of Melkor; and returning she would ever urge the Valar to that war with his evil dominion that they must surely wage ere the coming of die Firstborn. And OromŽ tamer of beasts would ride too at whiles in the darkness of the unlit forests; as a mighty hunter he came with spear and bow, pursuing to the death the monsters and fell creatures of the kingdom of Melkor, and his white horse Nahar shone like silver in the shadows. Then the sleeping earth trembled at the beat of his golden hooves, and in the twilight of the world OromŽ would sound the Valarůma his great horn upon the plains of Arda; whereat the mountains echoed, and the shadows of evil fled away, and Melkor himself quailed in Utumno, foreboding the wrath to come. But even as OromŽ passed the servants of Melkor would gather again; and the lands were filled with shadows and deceit."
...
"But already the oldest living things had arisen: in the seas the great weeds, and on earth the shadow of great trees; and in the valleys of the night-clad hills there were dark creatures old and strong. To those lands and forests the Valar seldom came, save only Yavanna and OromŽ; and Yavanna would walk there in the shadows, grieving because the growth and promise of the Spring of Arda was stayed. And she set a sleep upon many things that had arisen in the Spring, so that they should not age, but should wait for a time of awakening that yet should be.

But in the north Melkor built his strength, and he slept not, but watched, and laboured; and the evil things that he had perverted walked abroad, and the dark and slumbering woods were haunted by monsters and shapes of dread. And in Utumno he gathered his demons about him, those spirits who first adhered to him in the days of his splendour, and became most like him in his corruption: their hearts were of fire, but they were cloaked in darkness, and terror went before them; they had whips of flame. Balrogs they were named in Middle-earth in later days. And in that dark time Melkor bred many other monsters of divers shapes and kinds that long troubled the world; and his realm spread now ever southward over Middle-earth."



The only playable race would be Ainur hehe :) Silmarillion certainly has enough ideas for a great game even set in hte earliest prehistory hehe alright jokes aside.

I'm certain they mean either early time of Third Age or maybe the Second Age which in turn would make it somewhat connected to the Amazon's tv show despite their claims to the opposite. Third Age alone contains enough material (appendices) for several huge open world games not least an MMO's. Though what they mean for "lands, people and creatures never seen before" is unclear, since many lands such as Ice Bay of Forochel and parts of Forodwaith, Angmar etc. was shown already in Lord of the Rings Online (though casual fans probably would not be all that familiar with various locations such as those described in appendices histories.

Earlier Third Age contains various interesting stories, wars of Arnor with Angmar (and the aforementioned bay of Forochel plays a part and it's inhabitants Lossoth, Snow-men of Forochel, Rhovanion and it's wilderness entirety of Greenwood/Mirkwood with it's Woodmen, ancestors of Beornings, the kingdoms of Northmen including self proclaimed king Vidugavia, civil war in Gondor the Kin-strife would make a good material for a story driven game, other areas like Umbar and Near Harad to the south, Harondor the South Gondor "debatable and desert land" as it later became, but hey even Mordor interior is already explored in games, LOTRO: Mordor expansion and even Monolith's games 'Shadow of..' (no matter the very, very loose adherence to lore, the locations were more or less correct even if the regions to explore were rather small). The new lands could mean anything, hell even land of Dorwinion would be something new, a land known for it's gardens and vineyards on the shores of Sea of Rhun, with which other realms and peoples traded for wines (I kind of imagine it tiny bit like Witcher's world Toussaint hehe) a rich land, even kingdoms of Dale and Erebor/Iron Hills would be more or less 'new' (though LOTRO also ventured into those regions already), I would like to have a game which would in very great detail explore all location from The Hobbit, Vales of Anduin, Misty Mountains and underground petty realms of the Orcs down from Mount Gundabad through the tunnels of Goblin-town (also explored in LOTRO somewhat and Mount Gundabad appeared even in single player game War in the North, it was actually one of the most enjoyable and actually quite lore friendly game), Mirkwood and Woodland Realm to it's entirety, Mountains of Mirkwood, Halls of Elvenking (LOTRO again :)), I would love to explore the Lake-town Esgaroth as a sizeable rich and power town and mercantile republic, the city of Dale and it's streets the capital of an entire kingdom "realm stretches far south and east of Esgaroth" all the land between rivers Carnen and Celduin, south towards the Sea of Rhun and Dorwinion, also areas like the Long Marshes along shores of Forest River, between Mirkwood and Long Lake (the lake itself could be huge and maybe in style of Witcher 3 could be possible to sail on it in special boats :)).

Truly 'new' lands such as Rhun and Harad would require lots of invention of stuff to fill them in, as we know only basic information, to the East "plains and forests unexplored", with said plains near Sea of Rhun being where the wild oxen of the Kine of Araw live (and where Vorondil the Hunter, Steward of Gondor hunted for that 'great horn' that became heirloom of the Stewards, the same horn bound with silver which Boromir will come to carry), we know of the various tribes of Easterlings a diverse groups of peoples and them being either nomadic/semi nomadic with possibility of some "towns and walls of stone" further on, Harad and Haradrim with tropical climate, various petty realms and kingdoms, and tribes, with their kings and chieftains often warring with each other "engaged in wars and feuds of their own" with some Black Numenorean lords, sorcerers and warriors serving Sauron, many towns and cities and realms such as Umbar, with the jungles in Far Harad "apes in the dark forests of the South", "far countries of Rhun and Harad where the stars are strange" as Aragorn reported as he "went alone far into the East and deep into the South, exploring the hearts of Men, both evil and good, and uncovering the plots and devices of the servants of Sauron." so even journeys of Aragorn could be the setting though it does not fall in with no known human characters from Lotr (which is funny considering that first reports of Amazon's series was a rumor for it to focus on Aragorn's adventures in his youth :)).

Truth be told I would have preferred a single player open world RPG set in Middle-earth, for some reason there's a lack of those. Imagine such a game in style of Elder Scrolls, Dragon Age, Gothic, or Witcher 3, THAT would be amazing (I'm not much into MMO's).


Hasuwandil
Rivendell

Jul 18, 7:20pm

Post #5 of 10 (1833 views)
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Lands never seen before [In reply to] Can't Post

I found out about this game searching for news on Amazon's series, and decided to post it here. I'm by far more interested in the series than the game for now. I also prefer single-player to MMO games, but I suppose the money is with the MMOs. I can't say for sure that I'll play the game, but I would like to see it be some kind of tie-in, even if it's just using the same setting (time period and lands). Certainly, there are thousands of years of "history", of which this game can only focus on a small portion. I'm not entirely certain what is meant by "lands, people and creatures never seen before" either. I assume they could be referring either to previous games, films, or both, although I suppose it's possible they could be inventing "lands, people and creatures" that Tolkien himself never wrote about.

As far as games are concerned, LOTRO has covered a lot of ground, geographically speaking, but there are still large gaps:

Map of Announced Lands

(Lands in white are in the game, those in green have been announced as under development, and those in gray are unannounced.)

In addition to areas to the east, south, and far north, there are lands along the west coast of Middle-earth, from Lindon to Minhiriath, to Anfalas in Gondor, that have not appeared in LOTRO. I suppose you could argue that the fellowship did travel through Minhiriath on their way to Moria, that Anfalas is part of Gondor, and that the Grey Havens are in Lindon, so none are really a land "never seen before". Of course, if Nķmenor is in the game, that would certainly count as new. These are the regions I think may be important to the game, if it is set in the Second Age, in roughly chronological order:

~Lindon
*Nķmenor
Eregion and Khazad-dŻm
~Minhiriath and Enedwaith (VinyalondŽ/Lond Daer Enedh)
*RhŻn (probably especially that area of forests and mountains on Amazon's map)
Mordor
Lůrinand
Imladris and Eriador
Gondor (Bay of Belfalas)
*Umbar
*Harad
Gondor (Ithilien)

* - never seen before, that I know of
~ - hardly any of it seen before

Of course, many of these lands, and more, could have been visited within a few decades by Aldarion on his travels.

HÍl‚ Aurwandil, angilŰ berhtost,
oƀar Middangard mannum gisandid!


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Rohan


Jul 19, 2:53pm

Post #6 of 10 (1823 views)
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Though it was the president of Athlon himself who said [In reply to] Can't Post

that there wouldn't be human characters in the game. Granted, I don't actually think it would be set in the First Age, but it's still interesting that he said that. Maybe he meant the game will focus on Elves, and he doesn't regard them as technically human?

"It is my duty to fight" - Mulan


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jul 19, 3:50pm

Post #7 of 10 (1818 views)
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Before the Awakening of Men? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Though it was the president of Athlon himself who said that there wouldn't be human characters in the game. Granted, I don't actually think it would be set in the First Age, but it's still interesting that he said that. Maybe he meant the game will focus on Elves, and he doesn't regard them as technically human?


From the VentureBeat article:

Quote
Athlon chose not to license anything from the Peter Jackson movies, in part because the developers wanted to go beyond The Lord of the Rings tale itself. Miller said that the companyís game will focus on an era before Men came along (which in terms of lore goes, happened in the middle of The Silmarillion). In Tolkienís universe, the equivalent of the gods and angels came first, and then the Elves were born. Dwarves and Men came later.

ďYou wonít see human characters from The Lord of the Rings in our game,Ē Miller said. ď I would not say itís ĎFirst Ageí because that is more gods and monsters. I donít want to say too much about our game yet.Ē


That certainly suggests the period from the Creation of Eš to the beginning of the Years of the Sun. One of the most puzzling things about this is that none of this material is covered very well in the Lord of the Rings or its appendices which mostly involve the events of the Second and Third Ages, yet there is no clear indication that Athlon has secured the rights to The Silmarillion (which would need to be obtained from The Tolkien Estate). This sounds to me like overreach, much like what happened with Iron Crown Enterprises and its Middle-earth Role Playing game.

On the other hand, the War of the Elves and Sauron does not involve Men for the most part; although, it does end with Tar-Minastir sending the forces of Nķmenor to the aid of the Elves. In the context of the story, this makes more sense than a game set before the Second Age.

"Change is inevitable. Growth is optional." - DRWolf (after John C. Maxwell)

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jul 19, 3:59pm)


Hasuwandil
Rivendell

Jul 19, 7:36pm

Post #8 of 10 (1788 views)
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Not a direct quote [In reply to] Can't Post

The part of the article saying that the game would take place before Men came along was attributed to Dave Miller, the president of Athlon Games, by the author of the article, but it was not presented as a direct quote. There is an actual quote from Miller, which merely states that there will be no human characters from LOTR in the game. That only means that Aragorn and company won't be in it, presumably because it takes place before any of them were around, i.e., before T.A. 2931. My hypothesis is that the author of the article heard something about "before the Men in LOTR were around" and misunderstood that as "before Men were around".

HÍl‚ Aurwandil, angilŰ berhtost,
oƀar Middangard mannum gisandid!


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jul 20, 1:22am

Post #9 of 10 (1760 views)
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That's true. [In reply to] Can't Post

Your right, Miller was only quoted as saying only that no human characters from LotR would be included. That is very far from supposing a pre-Mannish setting and could indicate the early or middle part of the Third Age.

"Change is inevitable. Growth is optional." - DRWolf (after John C. Maxwell)


fantasywind
The Shire

Jul 22, 3:15pm

Post #10 of 10 (1507 views)
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Possible settings [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Your right, Miller was only quoted as saying only that no human characters from LotR would be included. That is very far from supposing a pre-Mannish setting and could indicate the early or middle part of the Third Age.


Yeah that's the most probable option. Third Age contains lots of fascinating events that could prove a good ground for a main plot of a game, for example civil war in Gondor, Kin-strife, there would be lots of politics and factions (good especially for MMO's) and lots of new things, Northmen in Rhovanion had their own realms back then:


Quote
"In the days of Narmacil I their attacks began again, though at first with little force; but it was learned by the regent that the Northmen did not always remain true to Gondor, and some would join forces with the Easterlings, either out of greed for spoil, or in the furtherance of feuds among their princes. Minalcar therefore in 1248 led out a great force, and between Rhovanion and the Inland Sea he defeated a large army of the Easterlings and destroyed all their camps and settlements east of the Sea. He then took the name of Růmendacil.

On his return Růmendacil fortified the west shore of Anduin as far as the inflow of the Limlight, and forbade any stranger: to pass down the River beyond the Emyn Muil. He it was that built the pillars of the Argonath at the entrance to Nen Hithoel. But since he needed men, and desired to strengthen the bond between Gondor and the Northmen, he took many of them into his service and gave to some high rank in his armies."


In that time Mordor was yet guarded by Gondor (though watch was already neglected), there would be still Umbar as part of the Dunedain realm.

That LOTRO map is pretty extensive, Middle-earth is quite vast :).

 
 

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