The Lord of the Rings is one of the most popular IPs in the world, standing tall next to the likes of Harry Potter and Star Wars. The brand name is extremely powerful and identifiable, which makes it all the more curious that Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor was not titled The Lord of the Rings: Shadow of Mordor.
Monolith Productions has opened up about why ‘The Lord of the Rings’ was left out of the title.
“One of the things, our goals from the beginning was not to make a movie game–not to just rehash the same events over again,” Lead Designer Bob Roberts explained to Eurogamer. “So just trying to make the best game we can, and make it clear that this is its own thing, it’s its own story, it’s its own experience. We’re not just rehashing a movie.
“So giving it a name that’s clearly its own thing, I think helps kind of separate it. If this is your entry point into Lord of the Rings–if you’ve never seen the movies or never read the books–this will make sense; you’ll be able to start here. And then, hopefully, all the other stories you see beyond that once you dig into the rest of the world will be enriched by that.”
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, while borrowing influences from the Peter Jackson films and much of Tolkien’s writing, is largely independent of film and book canon. We found the game to be quite excellent in our review, and recommend its Batman Arkham inspired gameplay to all Lord of the Rings fans and action fans alike.