But won't have a hand in the game in China
. The game -- a free-to-play MMO based in the world of Middle-earth
-- will be marketed and 'published' by Amazon Game Studios
globally in collaboration with Leyou Technologies Holdings Limited
, while the latter partner will handle the game in China exclusively.
Here's the official line:
Set in the world of Middle-earth portrayed in The Lord of the Rings literary trilogy, the game will give fans around the globe a new, immersive game experience for epic exploration of the vast world of Tolkien. In addition to the game development collaboration, Amazon Studios is separately developing a new Amazon Original TV series based on The Lord of the Rings for Prime Video unrelated to the game.
Amazon Game Studios and Leyou will jointly develop the game for PC and consoles, and Amazon Game Studios will market and publish the title globally with the exception of China, which will be managed by Leyou. The collaboration brings together Amazon’s game technology and talented MMO developers, and Leyou’s expertise in designing free-to-play games and operating live-service games.
The press release goes on to plant that the development team embedded within Amazon Game Studios' leadership group contains "developers who helped create of some of the world’s most popular MMO games", though drops no names. We're not suggesting they don't, it's just this is now a bit of a rock star industry where name-dropping helps sell games. Though based on the model and concept, we're not overly confident this is a hardcore game by any measure.
Still, we'll wait and see what comes of it.