Leyou Technologies' publishing label, Athlon Games, has signed a long-term licensing agreement to develop and publish a new Lord of the Rings licensed game set in Middle-earth.
The studio will be working with an as-yet-unnamed partner developer to create the title, which will be an online game set before the Lord of the Rings trilogy of books.
Athlon Games first appeared publicly last May as the new publishing division of Leyou Technologies, the Chinese owner of Digital Extremes (Warframe) and Splash Damage (Gears of War 4's multiplayer). The studio describes itself as a developer and publisher of free-to-play games for consoles and PC. The studio is headed by WB Games veteran Dave Miller.
"It's a singular opportunity to work closely with Middle-earth Enterprises to create a completely new experience for fans of the landmark fantasy work of J.R.R. Tolkien, and we are excited about the resurgence of interest in The Lord of the Rings IP," Miller said. "This, along with several other major properties Athlon is working with, will help us to further our goal of creating AAA cooperative console and PC experiences that gamers will want to play for years to come."