'Lord Of The Rings: Gollum' Video Game Is A Prequel Set Before 'The Hobbit'

From what we can tell, Amazon's upcoming The Lord of the Rings prequel television show will be set hundreds of years before the hobbit Smeagol discovered Sauron's One Ring and began his tragic transformation into the miserable creature known as Gollum, but that character is about to get the spotlight in a new Gollum video game. German video game developer Daedalic Entertainment announced a new game called The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, which will be a prequel set years before Gollum loses his precious to Bilbo Baggins in a dark cave.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, LOTR: Gollum will be "an action-adventure game" that takes place in the years between Smeagol first finding the ring and before the events of The Lord of the Rings novels and films. As Carsten Fichtelmann, Daedalic's CEO, explained:

"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. 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. We will tell the story before he first appears in the books."

I'm envisioning something like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch or Detroit: Become Human – a long-form story with branching narratives and real consequences based on the choices you make. That seems like the ideal way to tackle a game with this character at its center.

Gollum will be the first of several planned LOTR games from the company, and according to Fichtelmann, "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." That's not exactly a sick burn, but it's certainly a dig at games like Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, which lightly features Gollum but is essentially just an Assassin's Creed rip-off which happens to be set in J.R.R. Tolkien's fictional universe.

Right now, this Gollum video game is slated for release in 2021 on PC and "all relevant console platforms at that time," which is sort of a hilarious way of saying "we have no idea what's going to be popular in three years because the technology is moving so quickly!" 2021 is also when we expect to see that Amazon Lord of the Rings show, so we're expecting a resurgence in all things Tolkien very soon, starting with the new biopic coming out this May.