I won’t pretend as if a new game in the Middle-Earth franchise was on my radar. You can bet it is now though. Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment announced Middle-Earth: Shadow of War for Windows, Xbox One, Project Scorpio and PlayStation 4 this morning. The publisher also confirmed that Middle Earth: Shadow of War will be the highest-profile Xbox Play Anywhere game release to date.

Warner Brothers revealed Middle-Earth: Shadow of War today. With most game releases, leaks ahead of time take away the surprise, but Warner Brothers managed to keep this game quiet for months. Its release is set for August 22nd, putting the game in a perfect position to dominate sales. Middle-Earth Shadow of Mordor sold astonishingly well. It also created super fans out of a few friends of mine, including Mareah, our sometime The en Word podcast host. Shadow of War will tell the story of Talion and Celebrimbor as they go behind enemy lines to turn Mordor against Sauron. Monolith Productions has used the Nemesis system to allow players to create a unique world for each player, Warner Brothers says. You can watch the trailer above.

The kicker here is that Microsoft has managed to get Warner Brothers to make Middle-Earth: Shadow of War an Xbox Play Anywhere title. Those that buy a digital version for Xbox One get a PC version to download from the Windows Store. The scheme also works the other way. In a post on Xbox WireMicrosoft also points out that the title will work on Project Scorpio. That’s pretty odd considering all Xbox One games work with the console, according to the company, but I digress. Microsoft doesn’t particularly care about console sales for Xbox One as much as it does Xbox Live active users each month.

I’ve already taken the liberty of adding Middle-Earth Shadow of War to the Xbox One Community Hub release calendar.

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