New Online Game Based on Tolkien Works

Posted on May 26, 1998

Yosemite Entertainment, formerly known as Sierra Publishing, has finalized negotiations with Tolkien Enterprises to cement an extensive multi-year, multi-product deal to develop interactive games based on J.R.R. Tolkien's legendary works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Middle-earth, to be based on the fantasy world brought into existence by Tolkien, will utilize much of Sierra On-Line's existing multiplayer technology ranging from early work on The Imagination Network (INN) to its most recent on-line game The Realm. A BETA version of Middle-earth is scheduled for mid-1999.

"We are pleased to join forces with Yosemite Entertainment on this project," said Al Bendich and Laurie Battle of Tolkien Enterprises. "The new frontier of cyberspace offers an unprecedented opportunity for people around the world to participate in the magic of Middle-earth."

Yosemite Entertainment General Manager Craig Alexander noted that, "Without a doubt, Middle-earth is the most technically ambitious project that our two-decade-old development group has undertaken. Professor Tolkien spent most of his adult life creating this fictional world, and our goal is to recreate all of the detail and complexity of this fantasy masterpiece."

Set in Middle Earth several generations after the end of the Third Age as presented by Tolkien in his books, Yosemite Entertainment's game players will enter the world -- made up of some 20,000 distinct regions -- and be able to choose to portray a hobbit, an elf, a dwarf, or a human. Locations, peoples and foes long familiar to devotees of the bestselling epic tale are being developed with utmost care, so as to preserve books' integrity.

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