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EA Ties Up Lord Of The Rings License Through 2008

Major publisher and developer Electronic Arts has renewed its license to release additional games set within the world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord Of The Rings through 2008, with a new, as yet unspecified project set in Middle-earth for release ne
Major publisher and developer Electronic Arts has renewed its license to release additional games set within the literary world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord Of The Rings through 2008. EA has been responsible for recent titles based on New Line Cinema’s film adaptations of the classic novels since 2001. In addition, EA acquired the rights to develop games based on the classic The Lord Of The Rings book series itself in 2005, thus bringing all The Lord Of The Rings titles under EA's umbrella. Previously, Vivendi Universal Games had separately licensed the right to use the Tolkein books from the Saul Zaentz Company, a situation which led to competing Lord Of The Rings games being released at the time the first movie debuted. However, Vivendi's titles, which included a game based on The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit, failed to garner either critical or consumer appeal. EA officials note that the company is already moving ahead with a new title set in the world of Middle-earth for release in 2008, though details are scarce as to what exactly the game will be about. While nothing has yet been revealed regarding the upcoming title, past releases have covered a variety of genres from tactical strategy games to action adventure. The announcement follows EA's previously announced The Lord of the Rings: The White Council, an open world RPG for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. However, with EA making plans for a new The Lord Of The Rings title, the fate of this project, once referred to as the cryptic Project Gray Company, remains uncertain. EA confirmed in early February that the game, while not canceled, had been put on hold. “The Lord Of The Rings is an incredible canvas to create epic games,” said Frank Gibeau, EA’s executive vice president and general manager of North American publishing. “We look forward to our next project with New Line Cinema and Tolkien Enterprises scheduled to ship in 2008.”

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