Guardians of Middle-earth announced

WBIE and Monolith have announced Guardians of Middle Earth, a Lord of the Rings-themed 5v5 MOBA coming to Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network later this year.

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Warner Bros Interactive and Monolith are diving into the battle arena genre with a Lord of the Rings game coming to Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network this fall. Guardians of Middle-earth is a 5v5 MOBA title starring characters from the film and book series. It will also tie in to the film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which is also due out later this year.

You'll be able to pick from more than 20 characters in all, including Gandalf, Sauron, Gollum, and Thrain. But we all know that everyone will pick Gandalf, and everyone will shout "you shall not pass!" into their mic. New playable guardians will be released alongside The Hobbit, which should make a tidy bit of franchise synergy. Details on the game are pretty sparse beyond that, though WB has set up a Facebook page with a few pieces of art.

Without seeing the game in action, it's hard to say just what form this MOBA will take. League of Legends is one particularly popular example, but the genre can also encompass shooters like Monday Night Combat and even 2D side-scrollers like the recently released Awesomenauts. Whatever form it takes, it will have to be optimized for console controls.

"The MOBA genre is wildly popular with PC players and we are excited to bring it to consoles through the lore of Middle-earth," said WBIE production and development senior VP Samantha Ryan, in the announcement. "The heroes and villains of Middle-earth are crafted in a way that perfectly intersects with MOBA game features, allowing the development team to create guardians with deep skills and abilities for gamers to master."

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    May 30, 2012 9:00 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Guardians of Middle-earth announced.

    WBIE and Monolith have announced Guardians of Middle Earth, a Lord of the Rings-themed 5v5 MOBA coming to Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network later this year.

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      May 30, 2012 10:08 AM

      This trend is starting to get to the point where it's being taken too far. So, very tired of playing MOBA's at this point. After all of my experience with them, I just hate how it plays out.

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        May 30, 2012 12:19 PM

        I like Awesomenaut's take on it. 3v3 in 2D space. You can still get rolled in a pub match though.

        I don;t play Dota2 much anymore because I don't have an hour to dedicate with my full attention to a game anymore. Every time I start something happens and I have to go afk for a bit which hoses my whole team

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      May 30, 2012 10:39 AM

      what the hell is Thrain doing in the game.. he was barely a main character in the books.. just a mere mention really.. Thorin, Thrain's son was the main lead in The Hobbit..

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      May 30, 2012 12:09 PM

      So getting this!

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        May 30, 2012 12:17 PM

        Though I hope this does make its way to PC eventually

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      May 30, 2012 12:14 PM

      ...the fuck is a MOBA?

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      May 30, 2012 12:46 PM

      I might be willing to give it a try, but the jackass MOBA crowd drives me away from this genre

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        May 30, 2012 8:42 PM

        I think this is more for the jackass CoD/Halo crowd.

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      May 30, 2012 8:45 PM

      Dibs on playing Sauron. Oh, and Shelob. Oh screw it, I want Melkor.

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        May 30, 2012 9:11 PM

        Yeah you do.

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        May 31, 2012 1:32 PM

        I would think you would want to play Tom Bombadil. They all but say he could single handedly beat Sauron.