Sometimes a property and a genre are just a perfect fit. Lord of the Rings is a franchise born to be an multiplayer online battle arena. Most MOBA feature fantasy-themed characters battling over strategic points on a map, and the mystical items placed on them. That’s what Lord of the Rings is all about.
In MOBAs, a genre made popular by games such as League of Legends, the focus is on individual powerful units as opposed to raising an army. These games are popular on PC, but haven’t gained much of a foothold on consoles yet. Publisher Warner Bros is betting the LoTR license will be just the reason a few million players need to sample it.
Monolith Productions is developing Guardians of Middle Earth for PlayStation Network and Xbox Live. It will pit up to 10 players against each other, split into five person teams. The game will feature 20 different characters, including series favorites such as Gandalf and Sauron, and characters created specifically for Guardians. It will also release characters to promote “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.”
The developer’s aware many of the players jumping will be brand new to this type of gameplay. It’s doing a video series called MOBA Mastery to introduce newer players to some of the basics. The Guardians of Middle Earth site has bios and fighting styles for the champions that will carry the banner for good – or evil.
Guardians will contain an in-game communication system, a comprehensive leaderboard and online stat tracking. It’s targeting a December 4 release date. See you on the battlefield.