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Produced by: Yosemite
Entertainment (initially) and Sierra
Distributor: Sierra Studios
Author: Stephen Nichols, et al.
Year: Not yet released
System: Originally intended for Windows 95
Type: Multiplayer RPG
Availability: Not yet available
Licensed: By Tolkien Enterprises
The history behind Sierra's Middle-earth has been a turbulent one. After about a year of development the entire development staff was fired. The staff complained that management had been unsupportive of their ideas to make the game very true to Tolkien. Next, Sierra made major cut-backs and the official home page disappeared. Fans speculated, but Sierra refused to comment on the game's future. Eventually, others tried to move in to take over the contract, which resulted in a law-suit. The most recent news (May, 2001) is that Sierra (or rather Vivendi Universal Publishing, the company that owns Sierra) has signed a new contract for an eight-year exclusive license on The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings computer games. Exactly what this means in terms of the multiplayer Middle-earth game is not yet known.
The original game was suppsed to handle 10,000 simultaneous users.
Yosemite Entertainment promised very advanced 3-D graphics which would show the player's surroundings from above, similar to Ultima Online. There would be two different degrees of detail.