Here’s why EA’s Lord of the Rings games start with The Two Towers and not The Fellowship of the Ring
EA’s Lord of the Rings games from the early 2000s became certified cult classics, but have you ever wondered why they start with The Two Towers and not The Fellowship of the Ring, the first film in the trilogy? ?
The answer was revealed in the latest issue of Retro Gamer, which is on sale now. As our sister publication learned from lead designer Jason Epps, EA’s first Lord of the Rings game was originally intended to be based on Fellowship of the Ring, but due to time constraints it was changed to blending the stories of the first two films in the trilogy, released and marketed alongside The Two Towers in 2002.
Stormfront Studios actually started working on the Lord of the Rings games about a year before the movie trilogy premiered with Fellowship of the Ring, but as development progressed the developers realized that they didn’t. couldn’t complete the game before the premiere of the first film, killing any potential cross-promotional marketing. “We realized early on that we couldn’t release the first movie,” Epps told Retro Gamer, “so we aimed for release with the second movie in the series.”
Since a substantial amount of work had already been done using pre-release material from the first film in the trilogy, Stormfront and EA decided to include the material based on Fellowship of the Ring, but name the game The Two Towers to tie it in with the second movie as it was created. “Clearly all the material we were going to get in year one would come from the first movie. It seemed obvious to leverage all of that material, so the game became a mix of the two,” Epps said.
As if the situation wasn’t confusing enough for people who chose The Two Towers game only to start their adventure until the first movie’s prologue, there was also a game from a completely different developer and publisher titled The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, based on JRR Tolkien’s novel instead of the New Line films. Sheesh, imagine trying to untangle this web in the early days of the internet.
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