Free Range Games and North Beach Games Partner with Middle-earth Enterprises to Bring the Untold Story of the Lost Dwarven Homeland of Moria to PC via the Epic Games Store
SAN RAFAEL, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#LOTR–Independent developer Free Range Games and publisher North Beach Games today revealed The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria, the only survival crafting video game set in the Fourth Age of Middle-earth, the iconic fantasy world created by J.R.R. Tolkien. Unveiled in the Epic Games Summer Showcase during Summer Game Fest, The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria follows the Dwarves of Middle-earth as they embark on an original adventure to reclaim and restore their Dwarven homeland of Moria. The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria will be available exclusively on PC via the Epic Games Store when it launches in Spring 2023. Players interested in securing their role in the adventure can add the game to their wishlist starting today.
“We’re beyond excited for the Dwarves to return to Khazad-dûm! Thanks to our friends at North Beach Games and Free Range Games, we’ll delve deep into the Misty Mountains together, by this time next year. We do hope you’ll join us!” Middle-earth’s Fredrica Drotos enthusiastically exclaimed.
The story of The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria takes players beyond the books and into the Fourth Age of Middle-earth, the fantastical world created by J.R.R. Tolkien. Summoned to the Misty Mountains by Lord Gimli Lockbearer, players take control of a company of Dwarves tasked to reclaim the lost spoils from the Dwarven homeland of Moria—known as Khazad-dûm or Dwarrowdelf—in the depths below their very feet. Their quest will require fortitude, delving deep into the Mines of Moria to recover its treasures. Players will join forces to survive, craft, build, and explore the iconic, sprawling mines. Courageous expeditioners will need to be vigilant as mysterious dangers await.
“We at Free Range Games are absolutely thrilled to finally reveal The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria,” said Chris Scholz, CEO of Free Range Games. “J.R.R. Tolkien and all of his creations within Middle-earth are near and dear to our hearts, and this project presents an amazing opportunity to create new experiences born from one of the greatest stories ever told. We are pouring a lot of passion into the game to give players an unforgettable experience.”
The game offers endless experiences by featuring a procedurally generated Dwarven realm of Moria, so no two adventures will be alike, and every expedition is traversable either solo or online with companions. Players can mine to craft greater gear and resources, but beware, mining makes noise, and noise created in the quiet deep threatens to awaken the dangers below: where there’s clatter, there’s combat. Excavate the mysteries of three legendary mountains, extract precious metals, scrape to survive, and battle unspeakable forces to learn the secret of the Shadow that lurks within.
The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria Key Game Features:
- Feel the Fellowship: Experience the Fellowship of the Dwarves like never before, with the rich lore of the iconic fantasy world from J.R.R. Tolkien interwoven into the very fabric of The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria.
- Survive the Dark: To survive the treacherous Mines of Moria players must conserve resources, hunt, and gather for food and manage their sleep, temperature, and noise levels. Utilize dynamic light systems for safety and to blaze a path further into the darkness. Battle unspeakable evils and survive hordes of monstrous Orcs in visceral combat, while uncovering the secret of the Shadow that looms within the mountain.
- Base Building: Find solace from the darkness. Reveal and clear new locations to create architecture on a grand scale. Get creative and construct bases from scratch or build upon the existing environment. Beware the evils which seek to destroy Dwarven progress.
- Rebuild and Reshape Moria: Restore the long-lost ancient kingdom of Khazad-dûm to its former glory, recovering Dwarven landmarks as the story progresses. Resurrect old mines and refire their forges to yield their untouched resources.
- Explore: Delve into the depths of the Mines of Moria. Procedurally generated environments are abundant with resources and fraught with mystery and danger, providing a unique experience each and every time.
- Co-op Multiplayer: Adventure alone or band together with friends in online cooperative multiplayer with up to eight players.
- Craft Dwarven Tools, Weapons and More: Craft and loot legendary Dwarven armor, tools, weapons and structures. Rebuild ancient forges to strengthen, repair and enchant gear. Upgrade and unlock new technologies and fantastical machines.
- Uncover Magic Artifacts: Discover ancient magic items including swords that glow when Orcs are near, maps of long-dormant Mithril veins, books with forgotten crafting plans, and amulets that give strength or wisdom.
- Mine Ore and Jewels: Establish mines to unearth deposits of precious resources such as iron, gold, and quartz, and fantastical materials such as Mithril. Access crafting stations and forges to convert ore to ingots and upgrade gear. But be prepared, mining is loud and can awaken what lurks in the darkness.
- Comprehensive Dwarf Builder: Players become part of Dwarven Legend as they create their own Dwarf in the custom character creator. Dwarves can be customized in a variety of ways to create a unique Dwarven identity. Then, during gameplay, players can find and craft armor and weapons to further enhance their unique style.
Currently in development, more game news and announcements will be shared in the coming months. For more information about The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria, visit ReturnToMoria.com, join the community Discord, follow the game on Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube.
For more information on publisher North Beach Games please visit their official website.
About Free Range Games:
Free Range Games, headquartered in Sausalito, California, is a video game developer founded in 2009 by veteran developers and longtime collaborators. Free Range Games’ mission is to make games people find meaningful, memorable, and fun. The company developed and published Spelldrifter, recently worked on Oddworld: Soulstorm, and is working with Striking Distance Studios to help bring to life their vision for The Callisto Protocol. Free Range Games has a portfolio that spans PC, VR, consoles, and mobile devices. To learn more about Free Range Games visit the website at: https://www.freerangegames.com.
Oddworld: Soulstorm, Striking Distance Studios, and The Callisto Protocol are the property of their respective owners and used with permission.
About North Beach Games:
North Beach Games publishes PC and console games with a focus on the survival crafting and role-playing categories. The company’s mission is to partner with and empower the world’s best independent developers and studios. Based San Rafael, CA, North Beach Games is comprised of industry veterans with a wide range of experience in publishing, marketing, and game development. Most recently, North Beach Games has co-published Stranded Deep for console in partnership with Beam Team Games and provided publishing services for 7 Days to Die with The Fun Pimps.
About Middle-earth Enterprises:
Inspired by our deep appreciation for the fictional world created by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, Middle-earth Enterprises is dedicated to working with businesses providing highest quality products in accordance with best green business and sustainability practices, including fair trade, equality in the workplace, and a commitment to protect our earth, its wondrous beauty, and the viability of every living creature. The Saul Zaentz Company dba Middle-earth Enterprises has been producing and licensing films, merchandise, certain TV and live stage productions based upon The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit books, for more than four decades. With its headquarters located in California, more information about Middle-earth Enterprises may be found on its website at www.middleearth.com.
Ⓒ 2022 Free Range Games. All rights reserved. Free Range Games and the Free Range Games logo are trademarks or service marks of Free Range Games.
Ⓒ 2022 North Beach Games and associated logos and names are trademarks of Open Door Entertainment, LLC. All rights reserved.
© 2022 Epic Games, Inc. All rights reserved. Epic, Epic Games, Epic Games Store, and their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of Epic Games, Inc. In the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and elsewhere.
© 2022 Middle-earth Enterprises. All rights reserved. “Moria”, “Middle-earth”, and “The Lord of the Rings” and the names of the characters, events, items, and places therein are trademarks or registered trademarks of The Saul Zaentz Company dba Middle-earth Enterprises under license to Open Door Entertainment, LLC dba North Beach Games.
Kjell Vistad | Riley Smith
ONE PR Studio [for North Beach Games]