Videogame publisher extends 'Lord' pact

Frodo and co. are staying at Electronic Arts.

No. 1 videogame publisher has extended its deal with New Line and Tolkien Enterprises to publish “The Lord of the Rings” videogames through 2008. Pact was previously set to expire this year.

Extension lets EA work on a new “Rings” game, which will be released next year. Publisher hasn’t yet released any details about the game.

Future of “Lord of the Rings” games at EA had previously appeared to be in doubt after publishers halted development on “The Lord of the Rings: the White Council,” a huge roleplaying game that was set to come out this year. Project is still on hold (Daily Variety, Feb. 5).

EA last signed a deal with New Line in 2004. At the time it also added literary rights from Tolkien Enterprises, giving it complete and exclusive videogame rights to the “Lord of the Rings” universe.

Fantasy trilogy has been one of the few Hollywood licenses in the vidgame world to continue beyond any movie releases, along with “Star Wars” and James Bond.

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