German video game developer Daedalic Entertainment unveiled its upcoming title, Lord of the Rings: Gollum, on Monday. The action-adventure game will follow the years of the popular J.R.R. Tolkien character after he acquired the One Ring but before the events of The Lord of the Rings novels and films.
“You already have that big conflict in the character, two voices talking to you continuously, which means there is a good reason there are decisions to make in the game: the Smeagol decisions or the Gollum decision,” Carsten Fichtelmann, CEO and co-founder of Daedalic Entertainment, tells The Hollywood Reporter.
“We have the story that we all know from the book, but everything that happens to him before he appears in the book are the main things we will see in our game,” Fichtelmann says. “We will tell the story before he first appears in the books.”
Daedalic partnered with Middle-earth Enterprises to develop and publish the new game, which is slated for release in 2021 on PC and “all relevant console platforms at that time.”
Gollum is the first title being developed in the new partnership between Daedalic and Middle-earth, but plans for further games in the future are in the works.
“Our goal was to present a storytelling experience. About four years ago, I caught Middle-earth Enterprises in Berkeley, maybe like Peter Jackson did 20 years ago, and I said we’re interested in licensing Lord of the Rings,” Fichtelmann says of the formation of the partnership. “After some negotiations, it was clear that the Tolkien estate looked for a company that was capable of doing something which is more story-orientated than some of the other products that came out over the last years.”
Fichtelmann says Daedalic’s goal with its Lord of the Rings projects is not to go “too deep into the uncanny valley” by making hyper-realistic games. “When it comes to shapes, colors, we definitely try to produce something that is a statement,” he says.
The 2021 release date for Gollum coincides with Amazon’s planned premiere date for its $1 billion Lord of the Rings television series that is currently in production.