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Amazon boss expects fans to just "move over" from previous Lord of the Rings MMO

Frodo-synthesis.

This week, Amazon announced plans for an all-new Lord of the Rings MMO from its New World development studio, just years after an earlier attempt.

But, of course, this isn't the only Lord of the Rings MMO out there. Word of Amazon's plans inevitably sparked questions around what might happen to the already existing and well-established MMO The Lord of the Rings Online from Middle-earth Enterprises and Standing Stone Games.

Will the two struggle to co-exist? No, says Amazon Games' vice president Christoph Hartmann.

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In conversation with GamesIndustry.biz, Hartmann said he had "a lot of respect" for Standing Stone Games, and how long it has kept its MMO running for. "They have a, not huge, but a very dedicated fanbase," he acknowledged.

However, Hartmann went on to say that Amazon's game will be "worlds apart" from Lord of the Rings Online in terms of the technology available now.

"It's a little exaggeration if I say it's going to be like black and white movies to colour, but that's the approach I want to take. It's just a completely different world," the exec stated.

"Even the most likely scenario is... for people just to move over, because the other one is an old game. It's not a bad game, but the industry moves on at some point, and it's a long time from their release to ours."

As for Lord of the Rings Online, Standing Stone released a statement to assure its players that, even with Amazon's upcoming release, it is "not going away".

"Like you, we and our partners at Middle-earth Enterprises are huge fans of LOTRO. It is beloved, it is sixteen, it is evergreen," Standing Stone wrote.

"LOTRO is like the long-lived Ents, Elves and Dwarves; and we mere mortals are the stewards of LOTRO and its community. Standing Stone has every intention of growing and supporting this community.

"The road goes ever on..."

You could say, the team is standing like stone.

Amazon's new Lord of the Rings MMO project follows an earlier attempt at the same idea that was cancelled when things with Chinese publisher Tencent, a partner on the project, went sideways.

In the meantime, if you prefer to get your Middle-earth fix away from the hustle and bustle of MMOs, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is set to release later this month across platforms. Our Ed went to preview the game earlier in the year, you can read his thoughts about Daedalic's "authentic take on Tolkien's Middle-earth" here.

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