Warner Bros, NetEase team up for new ‘Lord of the Rings’ game

Warner Bros, NetEase team up for new 'Lord of the Rings' game

Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment and NetEase have confirmed that they are joining forces to develop a new mobile strategy game called The Lord of the Rings: Rise to War, based on the classic fantasy books written by the late J.R.R. Tolkien.

As indicated in the press release posted in NetEase’s website, the officially licensed strategy game will be set in the Third Age of Middle-earth, bringing the fantasy version of Arda (Earth) into mobile users’ screens, along with the legendary characters that Tolkiendili and casual fans alike all over the world have come to love over the years.

For those who need some refresher, the Third Age of Middle-earth refers to the period beginning with Sauron’s defeat by the Last Alliance consisting Elves, Dwarves, and Men, up to the time when Galadriel, Elrond, Gandalf, Bilbo, and Frodo departed to sail to the Undying Lands.

Strategic alliance

As noted by a Reuters report, this new collaboration with Warner Bros is the most recent attempt by Chinese Internet tech and game developer company NetEase to expand further its existing catalog of mobile game titles.

Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, NetEase saw an increase in earnings in its mobile game business, mainly because more and more people are choosing to stay at home, most likely engaged in video games during the worldwide lockdown.

Not that NetEase needed COVID-19 to be aggressive in its game development efforts. Last year saw the Chinese company forge separate partnerships with Marvel, as well as with the Pokemon Company.

Just a few days ago, NetEase had raised more than US$ 2.7 billion [AU$3.9 billion] in a Hong Kong secondary offering. The company is now looking to utilize that money to finance its expansion plans in international markets.

Lord of the Rings Rise to War

What to expect from Rise to War

Not much has been disclosed yet with regards to the story and gameplay of The Lord of the Rings: Rise of War.

So far, the only details that have been released refer only to the game’s strategy-based nature, and its setting and timeline (the Third Age of Middle-earth).

Still, the setting itself should provide some excitement for LotR fans. The Third Age happens to feature the most popular characters in Tolkien’s fantasy saga, no doubt propelled by the success of Peter Jackson’s early 2000s film trilogy adaptation of the iconic fantasy books.

Lord of the Rings Rise to War game

These characters include the usual fan favorites such as Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee of the Shire, Aragorn II Elessar, Legolas of the Woodland Realm, Gimli the son of Gloin, Lady Galadriel of Lothlorien, Gandalf of the Istari, and of course, Smeagol aka Gollum.

It’s not clear yet which of these characters will make it to the actual gameplay of The Lord of the Rings: Rise of War.

But considering that the game will be strategy-based, one can expect that several of the characters at least, or versions of them, will be incorporated into the storyline.

Images courtesy of NetEase Games, paxillop/Pixabay, Johannes Plenio/Unsplash

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