According to Gamespot, the free-to-play MMO game The Lord of the Rings Online SteamDB recorded 3,700 concurrent players on April 21.
This peak represents the highest simultaneous numbers since 2012 when the game first launched on Steam. Gamespot points out that the numbers don’t take into consideration the people who play via the game’s own proprietary launcher and client.
Players from TORn’s Discord also report that, anecdotally, the game’s servers have been noticeably busier recently with many new characters. The surge may coincide with the current 15th anniversary event that offers both current and new players a huge swag of freebies when they login.
TheOneRing.net would like to congratulate the team at Minecraft Middle-earth for celebrating 10 years of meticulously recreating an immersive The Lord of the Rings based world for gamers and adventurers alike.
If you have been living under a block (😂), Minecraft is a 3D world where users can explore and create entire worlds one block at a time. To then build the whole of Middle-earth is a historic task, and the team at Minecraft Middle-earth continue to succeed in this momentous undertaking. Check out the video below, a gallery of the the amazing areas created, and an excerpt from the PCMag interview with the creator. And of course, you can get involved their official website MCMiddleearth.com.
Vermeersch was first introduced to Minecraft when the sandbox was still in beta back in 2009, and like many others who played early on in the game’s development, he got completely hooked. As a moderator on a Dutch Minecraft server, the idea of building Middle-earth was something that had begun to float around the server’s community.
“I grew up with Lord of the Rings, like most people around 30 years old I imagine,” Vermeersch says. “We had people who were interested from the Minecraft forums, so we had this solid player base to start with. We began building the basic locations, like Bree and Hobbiton, then after publishing screenshots, people got hooked on what we were doing and started joining the project.”
Renown Tolkien scholar and author Tom Shippey is off the Lord of the Rings project, according to twitch broadcaster Tolkien Professor, confirming our early reports from March.
In a recent live stream from the Tolkien Professor – who we suggest watching & subscribing – Cory Olsen stumbles for words as he responds to a chat question about the status of his colleague Tom Shippey on Amazon’s LOTR series.
Olsen runs Signum University, the preeminent Tolkien scholar event series that travels the world bringing thoughtful, intelligent dialog to the world & works of J.R.R. Tolkien. His weekly LOTR streams have a dedicated audience that counts Stephen Colbert as an avid fan.
“I have spoken to Shippey… is he still involved? I don’t believe so.”
Cory Olsen, the Tolkien Professor
The early rumors of Shippey’s status set the community ablaze, with both reddit threads and YouTube comments becoming hotbeds of debate. On an early March episode of TORn Tuesday, it was revealed that none of the writers were currently engaged on the production and that the latest rumor was Tom Shippey was off the project. See TORn Veteran Quickbeam’s reaction starting 16:00 minutes into the show:
Fans hopes & concerns were calmed in 2019 when Amazon released a video that includes Tom Shippey in the creative team behind its billion-dollar LOTR series. Out of all the extremely talented people involved, Shippey brought a sense of authority and respect for Tolkien alongside artist John Howe. For many fans, Shippey is the iron rock that will ensure Amazon maintains fidelity to Tolkien — keeping the green showrunners in check with a focus on Tolkien’s intent. With his involvement diminished, Amazon risks alienating core fans and losing credibility among the show’s biggest champions.
Neither Amazon nor Shippey has publicly commented on the current status of their relationship. With the Tolkien Professor independently hearing the same things TORn Tuesday is hearing, there must be some truth in the air.
Tell us your thoughts! Are you concerned? Engage with us on Facebook and Twitter (@theoneringnet) to share your opinion!
Games Workshop, Ltd. will be releasing a new game, Battle of Pelennor Fields, the first new boxed game in their Middle-earth line of tabletop miniatures games since their Escape from Goblin Town game in 2012, and their first self-contained Lord of the Rings product since 2005’s Mines of Moria.
Join several staffers from TheOneRing.net next weekend for the last big TORn hosted event of the year. We will have a panel at Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic Con on Saturday, October 28 at 10am, room 403A at the LA Convention Center. Our panel is titled “80 years in Middle-earth, why Tolkien is still so relevant” and will cover several of the themes Tolkien uses in his stories, and discuss some of the many tangible ways Middle-earth is still being brought to life. We have a sneak peak at the new Shadow of War game and some more casting rumors for the Tolkien Biopic in the works. And best of all, they’ve given us 75 minutes to talk, rather than the regular 50 minutes we normally get, so maybe a little Tolkien singalong is in order.
New York Comic Con is almost here! Alas, TheOneRing.net won’t be there this year; for a number of reasons, we aren’t able to have our usual booth and party at this NYCC. But don’t despair – it doesn’t mean we’ll never be back! We are hoping to see Ringers take Manhattan again next year – so mark your calendars to moot in the Big Apple 2018.
Meanwhile – for those of you who will be in New York City this coming weekend, there is an event for Middle-earth fans! Our friends at Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Monolith Productions are celebrating the Middle-earth: Shadow of War game with a special gathering on Thursday 5th October. Full details can be found here. We’re told there will be food, drinks, giveaways and more! Even if you’re not a gamer, it seems like a great chance to hang out with some fellow Middle-earth fans. Limited capacity so get there early!
And if you are at New York Comic Con this weekend, please do share with us any Tolkien related sightings or fun. Have a great time!