Please Amazon, reconcile with Tencent so we can have a Ring of Power MMO
It’s clear from the first panorama of Middle-earth what Amazon is hoping to achieve with its new Lord of the Rings show. The Rings of Power jumps between characters, each representing a different area of the larger Lord of the Rings saga. We have imperial elves inhabiting tree-lined kingdoms that perpetually fall, humans digging up the life of yeomen in thatched-roofed huts, and primitive hobbits rustling berries in lush wild valleys. The camera often pulls back to reveal a sepia map with all of Tolkien’s realms – places that only appear in apocryphal comic books and role-playing games – showing how the Lord of the Rings universe is officially getting rid of Peter Jackson’s limitations can now span countless spinoffs, sequels, and multiple digressions. The franchise era has finally arrived, and it’s hard to watch Ring of Thrones without longing for a fully realized, Bezos-funded Middle-earth MMO.
They have already tried it once. With its nascent gaming division, Amazon is hard at work developing an MMORPG set in the mysterious Second Age, which is when Ring of Thrones takes place. It’s the perfect edge for a video game based on a beloved story — a familiar setting, but a blank slate for storytelling. Other than that, no specific design concept has leaked out, but we’ll probably never hear more about it. The project was cancelled in 2021.
Amazon’s interactive division couldn’t get a chorus (I didn’t count those six weeks when everyone was playing a bunch of new worlds; that’s a collective hallucination) but the cancellations clearly weren’t because of Amazon’s crumbling stores. Bloomberg reports (opens in new tab) The project was shelved due to a contract dispute between Amazon and Tencent, which is hard to even conceptualize. After making so much money, can’t these two gilded behemoths figure it out?
So now we have The Rings of Power, which is actually a advertise Regardless of Amazon’s grand plans for a million-ton gaming enterprise. You can easily imagine what-if-the-game bustling capitals, shadowy raid dungeons, and towering flight paths as you watch. Elrond takes the form of the lively Khazad-dum – bright, vibrant, wrecking ball-filled dwarves who are sure to perpetually hover between auction houses and reagent vendors. We see the kingdom of Númenor — with its Balearic-esque white-stone buildings — leaving many World of Warcraft veterans desperate to gain prestige for our gallant seafaring princes and princesses. A huge elven spire towers over the rugged Southland, stretching to the endless horizon. It looks like the perfect 20-30 zone. One of my favorites is right-clicking on a wanted poster in a small farm that instructs me to kill an elite orc.
I’ll carry this pain with me for the rest of season one of The Lord of the Rings; if only my journey and Galadriel’s journey could be linked. After all, a lot of people complained that the show was a little too narcissistic, as it filmed endlessly on ethereal CGI vistas. Do you know what makes Second Age more immersive? If you can hit 60 in it.
To be clear, there is already a pretty decent Lord of the Rings MMO available. Fifteen years after its 2007 release, The Lord of the Rings Online is still moving forward with some new expansions to satisfy its small but dedicated community. Back at the white-hot peak of the MMO craze, LOTRO is often recommended as a hipster alternative to Guild Wars or World of Warcraft—it’s slower-paced, more focused on storytelling, and outfitted with a dogmatic obsession with fiction. (When the game launched in PvP mode, it allowed players to transform into monsters – hobbit-on-hobbit violence was strictly prohibited.)
You can attest that publishers should tread carefully when dabbling in an established work of fiction, promising that they will execute immersive experiences better than developers of the past. (I mean, remember what happened to the endlessly hyped, ultimately bland Old Republic? Star Wars veterans are still annoyed at the blasphemy.) But you have to think that the Lord of the Rings revival at least Should give us something new to play with. Recent catalogs have been barren! I won’t put my grandchildren on their knees and tell them the shadow of war. We are thirsty here, and the Ring of Power will only make us thirstier.
So please, Amazon, after all these false starts, layoffs, and confusing business mishaps, give us the Lord of the Rings MMO we deserve. Resist all the greasy investor rhetoric that must be whispering in your ears; don’t give us LoTR Clash of Clans faxes, LoTR idle dungeons, or LoTR crypto games. If you end up making a Ring of Thrones adaptation and nori pops up on the screen asking me to buy another 2,000 Silmarillions to move on to the next level, we’re going to burn this place down. Likewise, don’t give me a tentative, half-step, modern MMO like Destiny where you hang out with a bunch of elves and dwarves in some pretty restrictive heartland – like, “Dalandrath” or whatever -Wait to teleport to the tiny local instanced area to hunt down Sauron. No, we need to go old school. We’re talking old school about Asheron’s Call. It’s now.
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I know this is easier said than done. Who knows if Amazon is allowed to start a new LotR MMO project? Amazon Studios produced The Rings of Power under license from the Tolkien Estate, but most of the Lord of the Rings TV, film and video game rights are held by Middle-earth Enterprises, which the Embracer Group just acquired. (Randy Pitchford’s Ring of Thrones, coming soon?) So Bezos may need to sign an additional huge licensing deal to get these plans off the tarmac in the first place. But I swear to you, it’s worth it.
Amazon has struggled for years to develop, but then very close Pin it in the new world. It has a proper formula to satisfy a group of adrift 34-year-olds looking for anything to fill them with wonders they haven’t experienced since they sat in a movie theater watching the original trilogy – back then when Blizzard was in Warcraft. The World is simulated to the extent of plagiarism. (They put a fake Doom Mountain in Searing Gorge! If we improve our mining skills, we can harvest Mithril veins!)
So please, Amazon: let me roll a class and kill some rats until I unlock some better abilities that let me kill some kobolds instead. Let me eat and drink by the sea that is shattered. Let me get server first on Morgoth. You own the whole world, now all you need to do is make a sprawling modern MMO and keep the playerbase enjoying juicy updates forever. (Suddenly, a a billion dollar TV show (opens in new tab) It looks simple enough. )