MMO publisher and developer Turbine has announced today that publisher Midway will co-publish (along with Turbine) and distribute the company's forthcoming PC MMO The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar
in North America.
The title is "the world's first and only massively multiplayer online (MMO) role playing game based upon the literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien", as opposed to Electronic Arts' recent non-MMO titles based on firstly Peter Jackson's Lord Of The Rings movies, and more recently
a non-MMO book license, and is believed to be due for release in 2006, though no release date was mentioned alongside the statement.
Turbine has managed to garner significant venture capital funding
for its quest to be one of the top MMO firms, with $30 million in additional funding in May 2005, and, though its existing Asheron's Call
properties are largely niche titles, is hoping to break into a much larger market with both Dungeons & Dragons Online
, which is shipping next week, and The Lord Of The Rings Online
"We're very excited to be working with Midway on this title," explained Jeffrey Anderson, president and CEO of Turbine. "Midway's extensive North American distribution capabilities should ensure a strong and broad based retail presence for The Lord of the Rings Online
"The Lord of the Rings series is the foundation for so much of today's fantasy entertainment, and we expect Turbine's MMO to be a faithful, thrilling recreation of Tolkien's world," said Steve Allison, chief marketing officer, Midway. "We are very pleased to be working with Turbine and look forward to leveraging our expertise to bring The Lord of the Rings Online
to the vast legions of Tolkien fans."