EA has announced a partnership with Middle-earth Enterprises on the development of a new mobile title, The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth. According to the press release, the game looks to be a collectible RPG with a focus on iconic stories from Tolkien’s universe.
The game's announcement follows successful ventures by EA in the mobile space, with Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes developer Capital Games leading development. Whether or not this title plays in a similar way to Galaxy of Heroes remains to be seen, but with another universe of rich lore to pull from and legions of fans, the studio could well see another successful mobile release. But the game is still a ways off. Here's what we know about it so far.
What is The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth?
The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth is a new mobile game aiming for strategy. The game promises to be a “social-competitive” experience set in the world of The Lord of the Rings as you battle against evil forces in Middle-earth with a large roster of characters.
The game is created under a license from Middle-earth Enterprises, a subsidiary of The Saul Zaentz Company, which has held the rights to Tolkien's universe since 1976. Due to the announcement of Capital Games taking the lead on the project, we can speculate that the game could play similarly to Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, but we don't know for sure yet. Galaxy of Heroes also describes itself as a collectible RPG, with players assembling teams of their favorite characters to use in turn-based battles. With over 100 million downloads since its release, it wouldn't be a stretch to assume that Capital Games could be taking some features from their highly successful previous game to use in Heroes of Middle-earth.
This is also the latest announcement from EA relating to its push into the mobile space, alongside the recent launch of Apex Legends Mobile, a mobile version of Respawn's popular battle royale.
What’s the story?
We're not sure right now what the story will be. That being said, the game's announcement suggests that it will be a new story "inspired by Middle-earth as told in the literary works of J.R.R Tolkien." An extensive roster of characters from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit will likely be featured, while the announcement states the game will draw inspiration from existing storylines.
A gameplay trailer revealed at Gamespot's Mobile Showcase 2022 shows the presence of a new ring, able to summon various characters from Tolkien's universe. The ring will form a major part of the story in the game.
What’s the gameplay like?
In terms of gameplay, players can expect turn-based combat with multiple locations from both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, as well as a roster of familiar characters to play as, making it potentially similar to Galaxy of Heroes. The collectible RPG nature of the game implies a deep experience for players, while the announcement also states that the title will draw from existing lore.
According to the press release, the game will also feature “high-fidelity graphics and cinematic animations,” complementing the gameplay experience. The gameplay trailer provided a look at the character models, with the game blending stylized design with realism in its approach to characters and the world.
The game will also focus on the team of characters that the player builds, with synergies between characters that are familiar with each other or have similar personalities providing bonuses. Utilizing different abilities within a team will also be important for success in both the story and PVP modes found in the game.
When’s the closed beta?
The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth is currently available in select countries on Android devices as part of its soft rollout and testing period. More countries may be added in future, so we will update this list if needed. For now, the countries included in the limited regional launch are:
Is it free-to-play?
The game has been announced as a free-to-play mobile title that contains in-app purchases. It's also worth noting that the game will require a consistent internet connection.
Like Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, there may be gacha elements. The previous title from Capital Games ties these microtransactions to the collection of characters, through crystals that the player can redeem. Popular games like Genshin Impact have also implemented similar mechanics, and it is likely that Heroes of Middle-earth will follow suit.
Release date and platforms
Heroes of Middle-earth currently doesn’t have a release date, but considering the closed beta has commenced this summer, it is safe to assume that the release will be within a year after that. Typically, mobile titles have multiple limited regional closed betas before an open beta is available for a wider audience. Then, the game gets a full release depending on how ready it is.
The platforms for the full release are also unconfirmed, though it is extremely likely that the game will be available on Android and iOS. Again, we will update this when more information becomes available.
Another game to look forward to
Although there isn't a shortage of the best Android games available, it's always exciting when a new title is expected to be released. Playing on mobile is a fun experience, with some of the games being so creative and immersive that they sometimes can rival even the best PS5 games.
As always, we'll keep this page updated with the latest information, so be sure to check back to find out the latest release date and gameplay news.
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