Amazon have revealed that they're currently in the process of developing a brand new free-to-play MMO set in the world of The Lord of the Rings. A collaboration between Amazon Game Studios (who are currently also producing the MMORPG New World), Leyou Technologies Holdings Limited (the publisher of the successful Warframe), and the Middle-Earth Enterprises, according to the press release the title will “give fans around the globe a new, immersive game experience for epic exploration of the vast world of Tolkien."
What's interesting is that despite being made by the streaming giant in charge of the latest TV iteration of the property, the game won't actually be linked to it. The upcoming show is set thousands of years before the books and the movies, but the video game won't be. Consequently, you should expect to see a bunch of iconic characters and locations from the main series translated over.
Though the words "free to play" still have negative connotations associated with them, they're not the instant mark of bad quality they used to be, and titles like Warframe have done a lot to prove that they're not just an excuse to exploit a license and nickel and dime customers. There's no release date yet, but it is confirmed for PC and consoles, and will presumably drop in the same window as Amazon's new show, which is expected in 2020 at the earliest.