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In a bit of a surprise announcement this morning, Private Division has revealed a new trailer for Tales of the Shire: A Lord of the Rings Game. The title is a bit of a mouthful, but essentially, this is a brand new single-player life simulation game set within the Middle-earth universe. Basically, LOTR meets Animal Crossing, just with somehow even shorter villagers.



Set to release on PC, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch, the game will take place in the newly established town of Bywater. I imagine your goal in the game will be to help establish Bywater as an official village of Hobbiton, hence the single-player nature of this game. Along the way, you’ll meet new characters, help villagers get acquainted with the town, and build houses. Seems like a relaxing way to spend the afternoons.

As IGN reports, Private Division has stated that the newly formed Middle-earth Enterprises & Friends (which is an offshoot of Embracer Group) has licensed the property to various devs, including publisher Private Division and this game’s developer Wētā Workshop Game Studio. The team has been given “the broadest creative license” possible, so this won’t wind up being a corporate send-up of gaming trends. It may actually have some life in it!

Tales of the Shire: A Lord of the Rings Game is planned for release in Q3 2024.

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Written by Peter Glagowski

Peter has been a freelance gaming and film critic for over seven years. His passion for Nintendo is only matched by the size of his collection.