Even packed full of news as it was, I still neglected to mention in my Saturday post that Athlon is planning to make a new Lord of the Rings Prequel MMO.
That is the extent of what we know so far. We can speculate that it will probably be released on console and PC, that it will probably be free-to-play, and that it will probably not even remotely resemble the kind of traditional MMORPG that we actually want to play. My own personal prediction based on context is that it’s going to be a cookie-cutter shovelware game designed to grab as much money from players as quickly as possible, somewhere in the vein of a game like Black Gold Online, my go-to example of such.
I personally have never heard of Athlon Games or Dave Miller before, so I have no idea what they’re capable of developing. A cursory Google search, excluding the press release, returns basically nothing.
In any case it’s highly unlikely this new game and the existing Lord of the Rings Online will overlap in any meaningful way: Gameplay-wise or demographically. I’d like to think that the competition from this new game might spur Standing Stone Games to accelerate modernizing LotRO, but it’s probably not even possible at this point.
It will be interesting to see how they name the new game, since obviously they won’t be able to call it “Lord of the Rings Online.” How to name something Lord of the Rings to capitalize on brand recognition while simultaneously distinguishing it from Lord of the Rings to avoid the obvious trademark infringement?