When Peter Jackson first made the Lord of the Rings trilogy between 2001 and 2004, the epic fantasy pictures preempted the modern entertainment model. These blockbusters were massive for Hollywood at the time but now pale in comparison to sprawling franchise offerings like those from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The three Lord of the Rings pictures earned just shy of $3 billion, which was an incredible sum for the era. But it begs the question of how much they could have made if they’d been released 20 years later. Now, J.R.R. Tolkien’s ideas are being brought back to the fore in the modern era, with a huge amount of new content set in Middle-earth.
Along with Amazon’s The Rings of Power, there are expected to be new Lord of the Rings movies in the coming years. The franchise will be boosted by a massive influx of games on various devices as well.
Film Viewers Could Soon Be Heading Back to Middle-earth
A large part of what made the Jackson trilogy so special was the way the New Zealand director managed to capture the essence of Middle-earth that was conveyed in Tolkien’s work. Parts of the landscape were magical and serene, with The Shire representing the most idyllic setting in the whole of the fantasy world.
Then, there were more bleak and desolate areas, such as the region surrounding Mount Doom. The original trilogy was filmed in New Zealand, which provided a diverse landscape highly suited to the various locations required for the pictures.
There’s no doubt that the Lord of the Rings trilogy put New Zealand on the map. It influenced a greater number of filmmakers to head to the country and use its settings, and it also led to a rise in tourism figures in the years that followed. The Rings of Power was also filmed in New Zealand, highlighting how the country has now become the essential backdrop for recreating Tolkien’s work on screen.
It was recently reported that Warner Bros has signed a deal with Embracer Group to make multiple new films in Middle-earth. It’s clear that the production company wants to expand on its franchise options in the wake of the success of the MCU and is eying up Lord of the Rings as a potential cash cow.
The new pictures will be developed by the in-house production company, New Line Cinema, just as the original trilogy was. This is good news for fans of Jackson’s work, as it indicates that the upcoming offerings will align themselves with what’s come before.
Gaming Will Act as a Huge Aspect of the Franchising Model
The themes of The Lord of the Rings have always been at the forefront of popular culture and have lent themselves well to games. Indeed, there have been plenty of titles set in Middle-earth over the years. These offerings date all the way back to 1982 when Beam Software made The Hobbit. When Jackson’s trilogy was first released, they were accompanied by a few official console games that were well received. These were The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers in 2002, and The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King in 2003. Both were published by Electronic Arts.
At the time of Jackson’s trilogy, the gaming industry didn’t have as many offshoots as it does today. People who wanted to experience the films as games had to play on a console. Nowadays, however, there are many more offshoots for franchises to exploit, including the lucrative mobile and online casino sectors. The smartphone market is a prime place to release film franchise games, with Jurassic World and the MCU recently exploiting this avenue to excellent effect.
The online casino market is also growing around the world, and there are plenty of officially licensed slots relating to films at these sites. For example, at Wildz, there are franchise games like Deadwood and True Grit Redemption. The site is rated as one of the best mobile casinos in New Zealand, thanks to its $1000 welcome offer and 200 free spins. Lord of the Rings games would not look out of place among these film-themed titles and would help raise awareness ahead of any new movie releases.
What Lord of the Rings Games Are Expected Over the Next Two Years?
There are plenty of new The Lord of the Rings games expected to drop in 2023 and 2024, and the release schedule could be designed to generate a buzz around the new pictures that are on the way. Embracer holds all the royalty rights for games set in Middle-earth, but the new titles will be made by a variety of its external partners.
The most famous of the upcoming titles is The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, which is expected to be released in the summer of this year. Players will take control of the tragic character for the first time, and it will allow them to see Middle-earth in a whole new light.
Another brand-new Lord of the Rings title will be an entry to the fantasy card game genre. The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth is being developed by the same team behind Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes and will give players a fresh way to experience the famous characters. One more game set for release in the next couple of years is The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria, which will be a survival and crafting game. There are also a couple of other secretive offerings that don’t have titles yet.
It’s an exciting time for anyone who loves games related to The Lord of the Rings, as there are at least five planned for release in 2023 and 2024. These titles will help boost the franchise and generate hype before the new movies hit cinema screens.