Snowblind Helming New Lord of the Rings Action-RPG


Almost a full year ago now, Warner Bros. announced its acquisition of the film and literary rights to The Lord of the Rings franchise, stating at the time that ““multiple games across many genres designed to appeal to a wide range of unique gamers, including hard-core RPG fans and families” were in development. Family-friendly action/adventure Aragorn’s Quest was revealed as the first game in production under this publishing deal, and now we know what the next one is.

Aiming for a completely different audience, as WB promised, The Lord of the Rings: War in the North is an action-RPG designed around interdependent online co-op and is said to feature “extensive character customization and development” and plenty of weapons, skills and special abilities to upgrade. The game will tell a new story in The Lord of the Rings mythos — pulling narrative elements from both J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels and Peter Jackson’s films — with up to three players banding together into their own fellowship to fight back Sauron’s army in the great battle of the North.

Perhaps most exciting of all is the fact that Snowblind Studios has been tasked with the game’s development. If you’re a console gamer with a passion for action-RPGs, you’ve no doubt played at least one of the studio’s previous games, be it Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance or, two of my own personal PS2 favorites, Champions of Norrath and Champions: Return to Arms. If anyone can make a great Lord of the Rings action-RPG, it’s Snowblind.

The Lord of the Rings: War in the North is being developed for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 and will be released sometime in 2011. It’ll also be the first M-rated Lord of the Rings game.

“With The Lord of the Rings: War in the North we are taking a mature approach to the widely celebrated property with authentic portrayals of battles and all new storylines,” said Martin Tremblay, President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “Utilizing the award-winning and passionate development team at Snowblind Studios, we are looking to evolve the RPG experience and deliver The Lord of the Rings game fans have been waiting for.”

“In The Lord of the Rings: War in the North, Snowblind will deliver an action RPG for core gamers featuring authentic narrative and environmental locations from J.R.R. Tolkien’s original The Lord of the Rings,” said Ryan Geithman, Founder and Studio Head of Snowblind Studios. “This game is a natural evolution of the acclaimed RPG gameplay that Snowblind has consistently delivered over the past years. Players and fans will experience an innovative approach to online co-op gameplay, woven throughout every facet of the game in a way that only Snowblind can deliver.”

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Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!