Viv U ‘Rings’ up new games

Cyberbiz Brief

Vivendi Universal Publishing said it will substantially expand its planned library of vidgames based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” books, including a massively multiplayer online title, a real-time strategy game and other titles for consoles and PCs based on the second and third parts of the “Rings” trilogy.

Under its Black Label Games unit, Viv U had already planned to publishing games this fall based on the trilogy’s first part, “The Fellowship of the Ring.” Its Sierra Entertainment unit will publish a title based on “The Hobbit” early next year. They will be competing with “Rings” games based on the New Line movies and created by Electronic Arts for release later this year.

Black Label will oversee development of “Middle Earth Online,” a subscription-based massively multiplayer title that will allow players to interact with thou-sands of others playing various characters in Tolkien’s universe. The real-time strategy game “The War of the Ring” will actually expand on the events leading up to Tolkien’s stories.

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