The Lord of the Rings: The White Council
The Lord of the Rings: The White Council was a role-playing video game under development at Electronic Arts Los Angeles. It was to be based on The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, however on February 2, 2007, EA announced that the game had been put on an indefinite hiatus, and to date no further information has been released.
Project Gray Company was the game's working title as well as a hint to its nature: "The Grey Company" were a group of Rangers of the North that accompanied Aragorn along the Paths of the Dead in The Return of the King — and they lend their name to the title of a chapter in Book Five of that work. They are omitted in Peter Jackson's The Return of the King. On July 13, 2006, EA revealed that Project Gray Company was in fact to be a new offering in EA’s series of videogames inspired by Tolkien’s books and Jackson’s film adaptations.
Initial details were limited about the game, but the official site contained art, pictures of the team working on this game, forums, a wallpaper, and a designer's diary feature (which included, at first, only humorous “behind-the-scenes” videos which purported to share design details but which were “accidentally” out-of-focus or otherwise unintelligible, thereby offering only a tease designed to stoke early fan interest). The website also contained a letter from the game's executive producer Steve Gray:
- "The action takes place in a massive open world where you can go anywhere you want, and the characters in this world are powered by an incredible simulation AI based on the same technology used by the makers of The Sims 2. The story of the game is built around a series of Story Quests. You can choose to follow specific Story Quests, embark on a range of other types of quests, or set off on your own adventures in the massive open world environment."
- ― Steve Gray
Included with the July 13, 2006 announcement was the information that since EA continued to hold the game development license to both Tolkien’s books and the New Line film trilogy, the game was to be based on both, like The Battle for Middle-earth II. Players were to be given the option to choose to play as either a Man, a Dwarf, an Elf or a Hobbit. The ultimate aim of the game was to become a hero allied with the influential group in the game's title, the White Council. The game was originally intended to be released late in 2007, on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.
On February 2, 2007, however, it was announced that the game had been delayed indefinitely. This was said to be due to management problems. EA worked with Pandemic Studios to create The Lord of the Rings: Conquest instead.