Vivendi has announced two new Lord of the Rings games to be wrung from the book-based licensing deal it procured a while ago, and it's giving itself some fair old competition. The two chosen genres are real-time strategy and the massively multiplayer online RPG - to be targeted by The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Ring and The Lord of the Rings: Middle-earth Online respectively. Vivendi is also planning additional games based on The Two Towers and The Return of the King - the next two instalments in the LOTR trilogy - but then that's hardly surprising and no details are forthcoming about either.
Naturally attention has turned to Middle-earth Online primarily. Vivendi is hoping to capture the essence of Middle-earth's inhabitants whilst wringing a certain amount of adventure out of them. Obviously not everybody can be Frodo Baggins or Gandalf The Grey, but Vivendi thinks a growing and dynamic environment based on Middle-earth is eminently achievable. Meanwhile, The War of the Ring sounds like a fairly standard good versus evil RTS game focusing on the events leading up to the first movie.
Both games are being developed by Vivendi's Black Label Games studio.