EA Renews Lord of the Rings License for Upcoming RPG

Electronic Arts will once again publish games based on the evergreen Lord of the Rings books, just in time for the upcoming premiere of Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. In an announcement today, EA revealed that it would release Heroes of Middle-earth, a free-to-play collectible RPG for mobile in the vein of Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes. Developed by EA Capital Games, the new RPG will let players collect heroes from across all of LOTR and mash them together in turn-based battles.

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Warner Bros. Games has published several mobile games set in J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy universe, including the well-received Middle-earth Defense for iOS and last year’s mobile strategy game Rise to War. Warner’s parent company owns the LOTR IP, but the status of its entire gaming division has been up in the air as of late, so it makes sense that new developments are going offsite to EA’s mobile teams.

Of course, this isn’t the first time that EA has tackled Lord of the Rings either. The publisher has a long history of games based on Peter Jackson’s original trilogy of LOTR films, starting with 2002’s The Two Towers. Outside of straight movie adaptions, the company put out the Star Wars: Battlefront-esque Lord of the Rings: Conquest and a set of real-time strategy games for the PC.

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The new Heroes of Middle-earth will be the first time EA tackles games based on the book license rather than the films. It’s unclear if the new game will feature movie characters as premium skins à la Marvel’s Avengers. Regardless, there is at least one confirmed Lord of the Rings game in development, as Daedelic Entertainment’s The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is set to release later this year. Wētā Workshop might also be working on a game in the franchise, as the effects studio most known for doing effects for Jackson’s film trilogy said it is developing a game based on a “major worldwide IP.”