DoTA-style Lord of the Rings Game Coming this FallS

Guardians of Middle-Earth, a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game, is going to Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network this fall.

The game's release is timed to tie in with the film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, coming out in theaters this December.

Guardians of Middle-earth promises to use Tolkien's iconic high fantasy setting and characters for sweeping player-vs-player battle arenas, where players will fight in teams of five on five. Early "iconic guardians" announced for the game include Gandalf, Sauron, and Gollum, with "several new playable guardians releasing in conjunction with the film." Presumably, many of them dwarves. Perhaps Thranduil?

While arena battles and Lord of the Rings may not at first seem to be a natural fit, the competitive arena-style combat game first popularized by Warcraft III mod Defense of the Ancients (DoTA) is all the rage this year, and keeps growing. League of Legends is huge, and Valve and Blizzard are working on the DoTA 2 and Blizzard All-Stars projects respectively.

The game is being developed by Monolith Productions, the studio behind F.E.A.R. and Gotham City Impostors.