EA Grasps Tolkien’s Rings

Video game giant Electronic Arts (EA) has published several big titles based on Peter Jackson’s filmed adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but now it has nabbed rights to the original material. Under the deal with The Saul Zaentz Co. d/b/a Tolkien Enterprises, EA will be able to include additional battles and characters in upcoming titles including The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II for PC and The Lord of the Rings Tactics (working title) for PSP.

“The new rights have unlocked the world of Middle-earth for The Lord of the Rings and strategy game fans alike," says EA’s Mike Verdu, senior producer of The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth. "We’re building a deeper, richer, bigger game based on the No. 1 RTS from the previous holiday season in North America with new fantasy races, places, heroes and battles from both the books and films."

“Now that we are expanding our Lord of the Rings universe to encompass Tolkien’s books, we’ll be able to combine the visual impact of the films with those complex stories,” adds Steve Gray, exec producer of The Lord of the Rings Tactics. “The RPG genre, in particular, is a great medium for storytelling. We are delving into unexplored depths of Tolkien’s works to deliver new, compelling and immersive experiences. The Lord of the Rings Tactics gives RPG fans a first look at how we will do this.”

The Lord of the Rings Tactics will have players customize characters to lead the Fellowship or take control of the forces of Shadow. Gamers will employ strategies such as guarding heroes, seizing high ground and mounting ambushes as they fight battles across famous locations of the books and films to determine the future of Middle-earth. The game will also allow players to pit their customized heroes against up to four other players via a WiFi connection.

For more information about The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II go to www.bfme2.ea.com. Additional info about other EA games can be found at www.info.ea.com.