First, about Stormfront Studios:
Stormfront Studios is developing LOTR games for Electronic Arts. Here’s what info I have so far on their first LOTR game, most likely titled: Fellowship of the Ring. It’s an Action game for PS2 and likely also for the Xbox. One interesting thing, they just started putting together a Dev team, I don’t know how long it takes to make an Xbox or PS2 game nowadays, but I doubt they’ll have it done in a little over a month in order to coincide with the first movie’s release. That’s pretty much all the info I have on the game right now, hopefully EA will supply some more info soon.
I supplied some info to IGN Insider for their Remember Rivendell article, here’s my part about the Sierra mess, and what’s happening now (minus a bit about MM3D, which you can find on the Havens):
Sierra (under Havas) had the license to make games based on the Lord of the Rings books. After a while, Tolkien Enterprises sued to get the license back, due to Sierra’s not having done anything worthwhile with it. There was some negotiating, and after a while Sierra (or more specifically, Vivendi-Universal) got the license back.
Their first announced game was the Fellowship of the Ring, being developed by WXP, they showed off a demo behind closed doors at E3.
Then, fairly recently, there was the announcement that the LOTR game management had been moved from Sierra to Universal. From Sierra PR guy Adam Kahn: “Hey Gerry – all management for Lord of the Rings products has moved to Universal Interactive (our sister company)…” So I tried getting a hold of Universal, twenty e-mails later: “Your inquiry has successfully made its way to the right people! While we are unfortunately unable to share any information at this time, we will be happy to keep you informed in the future on developments related to the Lord of the Rings games.” Not a whole lot of info there.
So, Universal now has management of the LOTR games, but, Sierra isn’t totally out of it, later on in that same e-mail: “For information regarding The Hobbit game, please contact Sierra.” OK, back to Sierra, where Adam Kahn says: “It was decided that we would manage the Hobbit franchise while our sister studio, Universal Studios, took over the Lord of the Rings franchise. I don’t know why specifically that decision was made, but we’re very excited about the possibilities of doing games based on The Hobbit. We’ll probably begin talking about those titles next year around E3 2002.”
So there you have it, Universal now has management of the LOTR games, Sierra is doing the Hobbit, WXP is developing the games based on the trilogy, MM3D was doing Tolkien/Lord of the Rings/Middle-Earth Online, but they sued Sierra so who knows who’s going to develop the MMORPG now.
And that’s about it as far as updates go for the moment, look for more info from EA and MM3D on the Gaming Havens soon.