Home Tales of the Shire: A Lord of the Rings Game: Everything we know so far

Tales of the Shire: A Lord of the Rings Game: Everything we know so far


  • Tales of the Shire merges LotR with Animal Crossing, a cozy venture untouched until now.
  • Expect customizable Hobbit characters and homes, farming, cooking, and friendship dynamics.
  • Release slated for later in 2024 on all major platforms, offering a broad audience experience.

When you devote even one second to thinking about the premise of Tales of the Shire – a cozy, gentle romp through J. R. R. Tolkien’s bucolic Shire, a sort of Lord of the Rings meets Animal Crossing – it becomes astonishing that it hasn’t been attempted before now. Luckily for us though, someone finally realized they were sitting on what could possibly be the biggest goldmine since Hogwarts Legacy, and the game is coming.

So far, Private Division has released two trailers and a clip for the game, and we can learn a lot from them, especially the official announcement trailer. Alongside interviews and blog posts by people from developers Wētā Workshop, we can start to piece together a pretty good idea of what this game will look like, so without further ado…

What will be in Tales of the Shire?

While there hasn’t been an official gameplay trailer as yet so we can’t know for sure what the gameplay elements will look like and how the user interfaces will be set up, we do have a fair bit of info on what kind of things you can expect to be doing in the game.

Tales of the Shire plot

It’s fairly common for cozy games of this ilk to have a very hands-off plot if it has one at all, and for them to be pretty open-ended. In Tales of the Shire’s plot, you ostensibly have a goal – bring the Bywater community together and have it confirmed as an official village by throwing the greatest Bywater festival in the history of the Shire.

In an interview with Nerd of the Rings, the game’s art director Steve Lambert has said that Wētā really refocused its lens on Tolkeins’s world to create Tales of the Shire, taking inspiration from childhood memories of how it felt to read The Hobbit. He said to expect a more “childlike, storybook” experience than Lord of the Rings might mean to you currently. The Hobbit was a children’s story, of course. We are unlikely to see any combat or even any hunting in the game, and probably none of the pipeweed Hobbits are infamous for enjoying.

The game was written by Darren Ormandy, who is a Tolkien scholar who taught on the author’s works in Oxford, so the Middle-earth canon is in good hands. He’s worked hard to keep the world as expected while still creating an engaging game for players.

At this point, it isn’t clear whether there will be any time pressure in the game (three weeks until the festival to get everything done! three days! three hours before the festival starts!) or how big of a deal the festival will be to gameplay. We also don’t know if the game will continue beyond the festival in a kind of sandbox mode or if it marks a hard cut-off point as an end to the game.

We do know quite a few things players will be able to do with the time that is given to them, though. (No, I’m not sorry for misquoting Gandalf)

Customizable characters and homes

A staple of the genre, Tales of the Shire will allow players to design their own Hobbit characters to explore the world with. There is also a Hobbit hole that can be decorated and customized to your heart’s content – the trailer showed multiple different options for what furniture you can have and what it looks like. According to a Wētā Workshop blog post, there will be “an array of customizations”, so hopefully this means tons of options.

We haven’t seen the character creator in any detail yet, but expect a variety of brightly colored clothes, Hobbit feet, and smiling faces to choose from.

Fishing, foraging, and farming

It seems that a lot of the game will be spent performing these activities. Again, we have very little to go on, gameplay-wise, so we don’t know yet if there’s going to be a fishing minigame (which seems inevitable) or even a farming or foraging minigame! We just know that food is a vital part of Hobbit culture, which leads us to…

Cooking and friendships

There’s got to be something to do with all those ingredients, and judging by the prominence it was given in the trailer, cooking is going to be a pretty key element of the game. It was heavily implied that the game’s cooking system and the friendship/relationship systems will be closely intertwined and that cooking and sharing food will be pivotal in forming bonds.

What consoles will Tales of the Shire be on?

It seems like Private Division and Wētā Workshop are going for broad appeal and the game will be available on all modern platforms including Nintendo Switch, PC (through Steam), Xbox Series X|S, and PlayStation 5. No exclusives here – Tales of the Shire is for everyone.

When will Tales of the Shire come out?

At the moment there’s no solid Tales of the Shire release date that we can point to beyond 2024. Assuming there are no delays, we can probably narrow it down to being a later in the year, possibly even around Christmas release. Considering that it’s mid-May at the time of writing and we haven’t got a gameplay trailer or a release date, don’t expect it in the summer. Games like this will want to give plenty of run-up to release to really capitalize on the hype. Besides, doesn’t a cozy Hobbit game sound like a perfect Christmas present?

Featured image credit: Private Division/Wētā Workshop

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Ali Rees
Tech journalist

Ali Rees is a freelance writer based in the UK. They have worked as a data and analytics consultant, a software tester, and a digital marketing and SEO specialist. They have been a keen gamer and tech enthusiast since their childhood in are currently the Gaming and Tech editor at Brig Newspaper. They also have a Substack where they review short video games. During the pandemic, Ali turned their hand to live streaming and is a fan of Twitch. When not writing, Ali enjoys playing video and board games, live music, and reading. They have two cats and both of…

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