The Battle for Middle Earth Mod Recreates the Classic in Unreal Engine 4

Rejoice, for there is a Battle for Middle Earth mod in the works, returning the game to its former glory using Unreal Engine 4. I remember when Battle for Middle Earth first launched! Those were the days. I’d get home from school, boot up my PC and dish out real-time pain in the game’s excellent online offerings after throwing rocks at a Balrog with Frodo, Samwise, and the gang in the re-telling of The Lord of the Rings’ timeless story. Oh, how I yearn to return to those happy, carefree days. Maybe I can. A new Battle for Middle Earth mod is aiming to re-create the classic real-time strategy in glorious Unreal Engine 4.

The Battle for Middle Earth was shot down in its prime. After two truly excellent entries, EA went and lost its Lord of the Rings license in 2010. All I ever wanted was a Battle for Middle Earth 3, but it sadly never happened, and, most likely, never will. We can’t even play the original games online anymore (boo, hiss). This new Unreal Engine 4 mod, however, looks to offer a snazzy return to The Battle for Middle Earth.

Return to The Battle for Middle Earth Thanks to the Unreal Mod: Reforged

A lot of work has gone into the mod already, based on the video above. Its creators say that all the code of the original game was rewritten (via ModDB). It looks glorious and true to the original in terms of gameplay and animation. While the Battle for Middle Earth mod is being made with multiplayer in mind, its developers will turn attention over to a campaign if all goes well. We know what you’re thinking, though: Just how legal is the mod?

The Lord of the Rings license is now owned by Warner Bros., who may just have something to say about the Battle for Middle Earth remake. “Yes, we worry a bit, when it comes to Warner B. and [its] possible reaction, however, take many examples of non-commercial projects of Total War, Skyrim or other engines. We still have an advantage: Unreal Engine 4 is free for non-commercial projects, so anybody could play the game for free!”

Indeed, not putting a price on the Battle for Middle Earth mod sounds like a smart move to us. The mod developers also argue that the genre of the remake shouldn’t harm Warner Bros:

“We do not disrupt the business of Warner Brothers – BFME is a strategy, RTS and Warners don’t develop any game strategy projects. Even if they ask us to stop the development of the project, we will do our best to make a deal, perhaps [sic], they could eventually make this game themselves after realizing how many people so want it.”

While we’d love to play Battle for Middle Earth online again with shiny new graphics, the legal ramifications make the project sound like a pipe-dream. A man can dream, though. A man can dream.