That means it has fans - lots of uber nerd fans. However Guardians of Middle-Earth will spit in the purists' eye, reveal Monolith, because characters need to be on 'equal footing'.
That means the lowly Gollum can just as easily dispatch the wise Gandalf. Match making also lets the battle lines blur as evil and good alignments get dropkicked from the MOBA game.
"We are bending how the match-ups would play out in 'real life'," said producer Ruth Tomandl. "Obviously, every character needs to have a chance against every other character. We realise that purists - this isn't a game necessarily for purists, and the purists will realise that."
"We really thought about the story background, the lore specifics of the specific character, not the interaction of the characters from a story aspect," added designer Scott Compton. Guardians of Middle-Earth is also not tied down to any timeline of Lord of the Rings lore, meaning any character from any period can take part.
10 guardians have been announced so far but that should double by the end with DLC a "good possibility" down the road. Gandalf, Sauron, Galadriel, Ugluk, Legolas, Gothmog, Witch-king, Thrain, Gollum and Hildifons Took are named so far. Each of the characters fit into one class: Enchanter, Defender, Warrior, Striker or Tactician.
Guardians of Middle-Earth releases on Xbox 360 and PS3 this autumn.