For nearly a century, iconic heroes and epic battles have drawn fantasy fans into Middle-earth. From books to movies to video games, the franchise has evolved over time, adapting to appeal to new generations. We partnered with Warner Brothers to usher in the next chapter of the Middle-earth universe, their triple-A videogame Shadow of War.
The second installment in the Shadow franchise offers more in every way; a larger world to explore, more quests to complete, and thousands of new enemies to battle. Warner Brothers came to us to design a system that reflected the increased scope and scale of the game in a way that could challenge new fans without alienating old ones.
For a new generation of gamers that don’t remember a time before the Lord of the Rings movies, we needed to refresh the brand to fit into today's world. We looked outside of the gaming category, pulling design influence from across the entertainment industry to create a system that would feel familiar to a modern audience.
“We didn’t want the orcs to be mindless, screaming shapes. Not only did we give them personality, but we made your relationship with them the center of our campaign.”
— Scott Cook / Creative Director – Brand
Taking our cues from across the entertainment spectrum—and stepping away from video game and fantasy clichés—we crafted a system that infused a beloved genre with modern design sensibilities, opening a franchise to an entirely new generation.
For Tolkien fans like us, contributing to the Middle-earth universe was a dream come true. Even more gratifying was discovering a fresh way to invite new gamers to a legendary franchise. We're excited to see fans battle through Shadow of War as we continue to support Warner Brothers throughout the game's launch.