Turbine has gained the exclusive license to create MMORPGs based on LotR, so now they can work directly with Tolkien Enterprises rather than through Vivendi Universal, their parent comanpy who had the license previously. With this, some things have changed, for one the projected release date. While putting a date on its release has been speculation for some time (since they announced their delay last year and haven't given a tentative date since) it's now officially projected for 2006. For further information, check out www.middle-earthonline.com. Also, they've put up a new developer diary recently, which is also interesting reading.
Take care. Eonwë
"There Iluvatar permitted the Valar to maintain upon the Earth an abiding place, a memorial of that which might have been if Morgoth had not cast his shadow upon the world." -Akallabeth, The Silmarillion
"When you can do what you want, you will be who you are." -John Hagee (first person I heard use it anyway)