Games giant Electronic Arts (EA) is reportedly ready to announce it has muscled its way aboard the "Lord of the Rings" bandwagon.A highly-anticipated trilogy of films based on the 70-year-old novels of JR Tolkien are in production, and rumours in Silicon Valley are that EA will join Vivendi Universal's Sierra Studios in producing video games for various platforms.
EA is set to confirm its involvement later this week but is not expected to give details. A spokesperson for the company did not return calls on Wednesday.
The first film in the trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring, is set for a December release, but producer, New Line Cinema, is already cranking up the hype-o-meter.
The company says millions of people have downloaded trailers and screen savers from www.lordoftherings.net.
In another marketing campaign, mobile phone users can register on the website to create a Tolkien-like character for themselves. Then, by dialling in a special number, they can interact with other characters, receive news updates and, eventually, do battle in virtual games created by Finland's Riot Entertainment.
It's not just New Media that is benefiting from the anticipation - booksellers are also having a bonanza.
A report in June said 1.7 million Tolkien books were sold in the US in the previous 12 months, triple the number from the year before.
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