Five Lord of the Rings games are in development at Embracer Group. As per the company’s latest financial report, all those titles are planned to be released within the next two years — specifically, within the next financial year, which runs from April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024. Back in August, Embracer Group purchased IP rights to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit literary works by JRR Tolkien, joining its vast catalog of over 800 owned and controlled properties. While no exact titles were revealed in the briefing, we’re already aware of at least four of them to be in development for a while now.
The first is The Lord of the Rings: Gollum from Daedalic Entertainment, which recently received a new release window, alluding to a launch sometime before September, this year. Originally set for a 2021 release, the title suffered multiple delays, with the previous developer update stating that it needed more time to ensure an optimized performance at launch. While not explicitly said, the shake-up was possibly attributed to the negative fan reaction to its gameplay trailer, where many called out the game’s outdated graphics. Earlier this month, publisher Nacon announced exclusive presentation for its upcoming titles, set for March 9, which also includes LOTR: Gollum. Hopefully, the game’s in a better state now.
“–this acquisition has generated a lot of interest among both internal and external partners for the Lord of the Rings IP, across different media formats. There are currently five games in production by external partners, to be released in the financial year 2023/24,” Embracer Group said in its financial report. Beyond Gollum, Free Range Games is known to be working on The Lord of the Rings: Moria, a survival crafting and base-building game centered around the Dwarves, as they set forth on an adventure to reclaim their lost home of Moria, located beneath the Misty Mountains. It is slated for release sometime this year on PC. A third untitled game based on the Middle-earth franchise is in development at Weta Workshop — the same digital effects company that has experience working on the original Peter Jackson movie trilogy. Private Division (OlliOlli World) is publishing it and is expected to launch in the fiscal year 2024.
The last one is possibly EA’s The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth, a mobile game focused on turn-based combat, a wide roster of characters from the fantasy universe, and “deep collection systems.” There aren’t many details about this game, but a press release notes “in-game purchases (including random items)” — raising suspicion as to whether it’s a gacha game, in the same vein as Genshin Impact. As mentioned before, there haven’t been any sightings of a fifth LOTR video game.
The report also notes that a movie produced by an “external partner” is in development. Back in November, the company shut down Onoma (formerly Square Enix Montréal) merely three weeks after the rebranding. It was reported that Embracer wanted to shift focus to PC and console releases, with some of the staff being moved to Eidos-Montréal studio.