New Lord of the Rings game from EA sounds like a gacha RPG

Electronic Arts has announced Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth, a free-to-play “collectible role-playing game” for mobile that will enter limited regional beta testing this summer.

Heroes of Middle-earth will have turn-based combat, “deep collections systems,” and a roster of characters from across both Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. The mobile game is in development at Capital Games, the same EA studio behind Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes.

EA hasn’t provided specific details on the game’s monetization, but a press release notes that it’ll feature “in-game purchases (including random items).” In Galaxy of Heroes, you unlock new characters for your team through shards, which can be earned either by grinding or purchasing gacha-style data cards.

“The team is filled with fans of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and each day they bring their tremendous passion and talents together to deliver an authentic experience for players,” Vice President of Mobile RPG at EA Malachi Boyle says in a press release. “The combination of high-fidelity graphics, cinematic animations, and stylized art immerses players in the fantasy of Middle-earth where they’ll go head-to-head with their favorite characters.”

EA published a number of Lord of the Rings games based on the films in the early 2000s, including a handful of brawlers on console and the well-regarded Battle for Middle-earth real-time strategy games on PC.

Outside of mobile platforms, this year’s big upcoming Lord of the Rings title is the stealth-action game Gollum, from Daedalic Entertainment. A new Lord of the Rings MMO from Amazon was canceled last year. Amazon Prime’s Rings of Power TV series is still set to release this September.

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