Monolith Productions is working on a sequel to 2014’s Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor called Middle-earth: Shadow of War and the game might release as soon as this summer. This news comes thanks to Target, which leaked the box art for the game early via an online product listing that has since been taken down.
News of the leak spread after details from the Target listing surfaced on Twitter Sunday afternoon. Prior to takedown, the product listing showed a release date of August 22, but whether that’s a confirmed date or just a Target placeholder is anyone’s guess. As of press time, neither Monolith Productions nor publisher Warner Bros. had commented on the leak.
Kotaku reports that the story for Shadow of War will be based on Talion and Celebrimbor, the two protagonists from the first game, working to forge a new ring that’s as powerful as Sauron’s. The popular Nemesis system from Shadow of Mordor will reportedly return and players will “go behind enemy lines” to forge an army and conquer fortresses, according to the product listing.
Target’s site at one point had box art for both a PlayStation 4 and Xbox One version of the game, but Monolith also looks to be prepping a special “Gold Edition” for both consoles. The special edition of Shadow of War will include a pass for multiple DLC expansions and a “Gold War Chest” which sounds like it might include some exclusive in-game items.
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor received positive reviews on its release in September 2014 and won multiple Game of the Year awards, including one from the GDC. Shadow of Mordor‘s Nemesis system, which pitted the game’s protagonist against a rival character based on the player’s actions in-game, was widely acclaimed as a great innovation that moved storytelling in video games forward. Rumors of a Shadow of Mordor sequel first surfaced in early 2016, but an alleged appearance at E3 2016 never materialized.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War has no official release date but is rumored to be in development for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, Mac and Linux.