Tales of the Shire - everything we know so far about the upcoming Lord of the Rings life sim

Tales of the Shire artwork
(Image credit: Private Division)

Tales of the Shire is the coziest take on the Lord of the Rings universe yet, putting players in the shoes of a Hobbit in the midst of Hobbiton, and tasking them with uniting the community surrounding Bywater. You'’ll be able to fish in ponds, produce food and crops, forage for fruit, and trade with townsfolk to better your comfy life. 

Revealed earlier this year from developer Weta Workshop Game Studio - a subsidiary of Weta Workshop most known for working on the Lord of the Rings trilogy of films - the storybook life sim set in Middle-earth gives off some Stardew Valley vibes and promises to be a great entry point for newcomers alongside longtime fans of Tolkien's universe. From everything we've seen so far, it's already fast becoming one of the most exciting new games for 2024. And with a planned release across multiple platforms, it's certainly now also among the most anticipated upcoming PS5 games, upcoming Xbox Series X games, upcoming PC games, and upcoming Switch games on the way. 

Read on below for a full recap of everything we know so far about Tales of the Shire. 

Tales of the Shire news 

Tales of the Shire

(Image credit: Private Division)

Tales of the Shire release date 

Tales of the Shire

(Image credit: Private Division)

At the time of writing, Tales of the Shire doesn't have a firm release date set in stone. However, we do know that it's still set to launch at some point later this year in 2024, according to publisher Private Division.

What's more, Tales of the Shire will be available across PC and console platforms alike, as well as on Nintendo Switch. So you'll be able to play the cozy Lord of the Rings game across, PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. 

Tales of the Shire Early Access

Tales of the Shire

(Image credit: Private Division)

With life simulators like Tales of the Shire, it's not uncommon for titles to launch into Early Access, and introduce new features gradually over months while the full release hangs back - just look at The Sims competitor Life By You from Paradox Interactive for example, slated to launch into early access at some point in the near future. 

However, there's zero indication Tales of the Shire will receive an early access launch as of right now. The full game will be arriving simultaneously across console, PC, and Nintendo Switch platforms later this year, although there's nothing to say there might not be post-launch support with new features for Tales of the Shire after it debuts. 

Tales of the Shire trailer 

Right now, we only have two Tales of the Shire trailers to go off, and you can see them in full just below. The first trailer is the one used to announce the game, and so it's more conceptual in general - you don't get a look at gameplay, for example. 

Tales of the Shire gameplay  

A better look at Tales of the Shire's gameplay comes in the more recent trailer below, released by Nintendo just earlier this year. This time, we're getting a good look at Hobbits roaming around Hobbiton, hanging out together near the edge of lush lakes, foraging for food, and baking goods.  

The above trailer is a really good look at how Tales of the Shire is going to play, and the general speed and rhythm of the game. In short, as you might not be surprised to hear, it's likely going to be a slow-moving adventure, just like we've come to expect from farming sims like Stardew Valley and such.  

Is Tales of the Shire multiplayer? 

Tales of the Shire

(Image credit: Private Division)

Unfortunately, if you were hoping to roam around Hobbiton with your friends, it looks like you're firmly out of luck. Steam's store page for Tales of the Shire has a ‘Singleplayer' tag listed by publisher Private Division, so put those multiplayer dreams to bed.

It's also worth pointing out that we probably shouldn't hold out hope for a multiplayer mode further down the line. Adding a multiplayer mode for any game isn't as simple as flicking a switch - there's servers to purchase and maintain and features to adjust and fine tune, for example. Let's not get our hopes up for now.

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Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.