Electronic Arts Inc. (founded in 1984 - abbreviated as EA or EA Games) is an American video game company, based in Redwood City, California, that produces and distributes sports games (under the label EA Sports) as well as multiple action franchises, both of the fantasy and Sci-fi genre, such as Dragon Age, Crysis, and Command & Conquer.
Up until 2009, every prominent film-based video game based on The Lord of the Rings was made by Electronic Arts, such as the Battle for Middle-earth games.
Electronic Arts was first founded by entrepreneur Tony Hawkins in May of 1984 in San Mateo, California. He was the leader of the company until 1991, though remained as its Chairman.
Lord of the Rings games
RPG & 3rd person action
In 2002, Electronic Arts obtained the interactive entertainment rights of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings films. That year, they released their single-player game The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers for the GameCube. In 2003, its sequel The Return of the King was released, based on the titular film. One the entire movie trilogy had been completed, EA then released The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age for Xbox, GameCube, Game Boy Advance, and Play Station 2 - this game featured more original, invented story-content than the earlier two games, because EA had not obtained rights to the original books.
After 2002, Electronic Arts again obtained a license to produce Lord of the Rings-based content - this license to the books, from Saul Zaentz of Tolkien Enterprises. The most popular real-time strategy game series based in Middle-earth, The Battle for Middle-earth, was first developed by Electronic Arts as a result. The first installment of the franchise was released in December 2004. The Battle for Middle-earth II followed two years later, as well as a collector's edition, and its expansion pack, The Rise of the Witch-king.
Because of The Battle for Middle-earth's popularity, Electronic Arts would hold that license until 2008.