There’s a reason why Middle-earth Shadow of Mordor doesn’t use the Lord of the Rings name

Middle-earth Shadow of Mordor is finally out and has received mostly positive reviews so far. Just as its name suggests, the game takes place in the Lord of the Rings universe, more specifically in the realm of Mordor. While the story mentions the Rings of Power and features familiar characters such as Gollum, Middle-earth Shadow of Mordor is not based on the Lord of the Rings movies. Indeed, developer Monolith Productions wanted to create something very different here, which is why they choose not to include the name “Lord of the Rings” in the game’s title. This decision was undoubtedly a very wise one as the game has already been praised a lot more than any other titles inspired by the movie trilogy.

“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,” said Middle-earth Shadow of Mordor Lead Designer Bob Roberts in an interview with 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 is already available for the PC, PS4 and Xbox One in Europe and the US, with Australia to follow on October 8th. The Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game will only launch next month.