When Monolith and Warner Bros. first unveiled Guardians of Middle-Earth few were quite sure what exactly the game was. Though it looked like a riff on the League of Legends or DOTA formula, the details were still relatively slim on what exact genre the game intended to deliver.

After¬†E3 2012, however, we now know that Guardians of Middle-Earth is being touted as a MOBA, or massive online battle arena. Players will take on a role as one of the game’s eponymous “guardians,” an iconic character from Tolkien’s rich universe, and do battle against opposing guardians. The game’s conceit is much more complex than that, so for a better understanding make sure to read our preview from E3.

The newest¬†Guardians of Middle-Earth¬†announcement is in regards to the game’s release date, which apparently has needed quite the bit of clarification since being made public. While the title isn’t necessarily being touted as a downloadable or a retail game, it can be purchased in several different forms.

On December 5th, PSN members can purchase the game digitally, and on December 7th the PS3 retail version can be purchased in stores. The retail version of Guardians of Middle-Earth, unlike the downloadable version, will net the owner early access and a full season pass to all DLC.

Xbox 360 owners, however, have only one option for Guardians of Middle-Earth, and that’s a purchase through Xbox Live. There will be no retail version, and apparently no season pass. The good news, though, is that the Xbox 360 version will be available on December 4th, a day earlier than its PSN counterpart.

It is rather confusing, this whole staggered release schedule, but our guess is it has something to do with the way the PSN and Xbox Live make their downloadable content available. As far as the PS3 retail version is concerned, were just as confused as anyone as to why it releases two days later.

Regardless, the game’s unique conceit makes it worth a look, and getting together with friends on Xbox Live or PSN sounds like a blast. Will you be downloading either of the downloadable versions of the game, or opting for the PS3 retail version?

Guardians of Middle-Earth will be available December 4th on the XBLA, December 5th on PSN, and December 7th for PS3.