Athlon Games announced today it has signed a long-term licensing agreement with Middle-earth Enterprises to develop and publish a The Lord of the Rings video game. Athlon Games is working with a partner developer to create an online game set in the world of Middle-earth 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.
“It’s a singular opportunity to work closely with Middle-earth Enterprises to create a completely new experience for fans of the landmark fantasy work of J.R.R. Tolkien, and we are excited about the resurgence of interest in The Lord of the Rings IP,” said Dave Miller, president, Athlon Games. “This, along with several other major properties Athlon is working with, will help us to further our goal of creating AAA cooperative console and PC experiences that gamers will want to play for years to come.”
“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,” said Fredrica Drotos, Chief Brand & Licensing Officer at Middle-earth Enterprises. “Athlon’s game will allow millions of Middle-earth fans throughout the world a unique opportunity for fellowship and epic exploration.”
Athlon Games, and its parent company Leyou Technologies Holdings Limited, which also owns Digital Extremes and Splash Damage, is marrying its deep expertise with free-to-play game design and service with Western development and strong IP to create top quality console and PC games that have global appeal.
“We believe in Athlon Games’ model to collaborate closely with Western developers to implement incredibly successful live services, while also giving its partners the autonomy they need to develop outstanding game experiences,” said Alex Xu, CEO of Leyou Technologies Holdings Limited. “At Leyou, we’ve seen great success implementing this strategy with other titles, such as Warframe. Now we can expand our footprint in the West with Athlon Games.”
Los Angeles-based Athlon Games is a newly-formed publisher headed up by industry veteran Dave Miller, formerly of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Codemasters and NBC Universal.