A new Middle-earth game is in development at Wētā Workshop, the New Zealand-based visual effects and animation company known for its work on The Lord of the Rings movies, the upcoming Rings of Power TV series, and many more films.
Wētā Workshop, which had opened an interactive division several years ago, announced to have signed a publishing deal with Take-Two's Private Division. The Middle-earth game has a license directly from Middle-earth Enterprises, which means they have access to the literary works made by J.R.R. Tolkien.
The game is said to be early in development, with a release planned in Take-Two's fiscal year 2024. That means it should be available by March 2024, though of course, delays are always a very real possibility.
Amie Wolken, Head of Interactive at Wētā Workshop, said in a statement:
It’s a privilege to create a new game set in Middle-earth, especially one that’s so different from what fans have played previously. As fans ourselves, we’re excited for gamers to explore Middle-earth in a way they never have before and introduce new fans to the magic of The Lord of the Rings.
Michael Worosz, Chief Strategy Officer at Take-Two Interactive and Head of Private Division, added:
We are thrilled to partner with Wētā Workshop to publish a game set in such an extraordinary and celebrated universe. The Lord of the Rings IP is home to so many remarkable stories, and no entity is better equipped than the team at Wētā Workshop to create a distinctive, new Middle-earth gaming experience.
Despite the unfortunate cancellation of The Lord of the Rings MMORPG from Amazon due to a dispute with Tencent, fans of Tolkien's work still have plenty to look forward to, such as The Lord of the Rings: Gollum (still planned to be released before the end of this year) and The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria, launching in Spring 2023.