The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria launches in October 2023

Return to Moria adapts the Lord of the Rings franchise into a survival crafting game.
lord of the rings return to moria

The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria, the upcoming survival crafting game inspired by Tolkien’s beloved franchise, will officially launch for PlayStation 5 and PC on 24 October 2023.

As previously announced, the game takes a unique approach to the world and lore of The Lord of the Rings, with the action largely focussed on the culture and history of the mythical Dwarves, a people known for their skills in mining, smithing, and crafting.

The game takes place in the Fourth Age of Middle-earth – as in, directly after the events depicted in Return of the King, in the wake of the defeat of Sauron, and the beginning of the Age of Men. Against a backdrop of peace and prosperity, the Dwarves are able to return to their home kingdom of Moria (one of the primary locations of The Fellowship of the Ring) where they reclaim their mines from Sauron’s minions.

Players will work solo or with other Dwarves to restore Moria in survival-style gameplay, with the action primarily focused on restoring Moria by crafting new structures, while taking on a range of enemy threats, like roaming goblins, orcs, and spiders.

Read: New details for The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria revealed

IGN recently got an exclusive look at Return to Moria gameplay, and footage shown off reveals how players will need to carve out paths, Minecraft-style, to forge ahead and explore the depths of Moria, and eventually uncover its hidden secrets.


In the mines, players will find valuable resources, and break down rocks for building materials. In the lower reaches of Moria, these goods will grow more plentiful – and more dangerous, with crystals and special gems being guarded by enemies, and requiring more analytic thinking to access.

While the recent release of The Lord of the Rings: Gollum may have left a bad impression about Lord of the Rings games in 2023, it’s worth noting this survival crafting game comes from an entirely different team: Free Range Games. Previously, the studio aided work on The Callisto Protocol, and Oddworld: Soulstorm.

With a unique premise and clever genre choice, Return to Moria is an intriguing prospect.

Keen players won’t have to wait long to learn more about the game, with its 24 October 2023 release date now locked in. For now, it will be released digitally on PlayStation 5 and PC, but a physical release for PS5 is also planned for December 2023. An Xbox Series X/S release of the game is also on the way, with this currently dated for early 2024.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.