Warner has taken the gaming rights contracted to EA back for the Lord of the Rings franchise according to Variety, and has no plans to renew the contract.
Originally, the license was set to expire at the end of March 2007, but was extended through 2008 so EA could finish up LotR: Conquest. The deal was also signed by Tolkien Enterprises.
It’a been suggested that the reason Conquest was generally panned was due to EA rushing Pandemic to finish before the contract expired. However, now Warner is itself becoming a major player in the game industry, it is safe to assume that any console releases will be handled by them in the future, says that report.
A Warner Bros rep declined to comment to Variety, but it is worth noting that Warner holds the rights to the Harry Potter franchise too — and that EA’s contract for all games muggle- and wizard-related doesn’t expire until 2011.
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