Amazon Cancels Lord of the Rings MMORPG, Prolonging Unsuccessful Streak

Amazon takes another (L)ord of the Rings.

Since the initial announcement of Amazon Game Studios in 2012, the developer has yet to release a successful title. It has more cancellations to its name, and it’s just added another one: an online Lord of the Rings role-playing game that was first announced in 2019.

The news comes from a Bloomberg report released over the weekend. The title had been in development at Amazon Game Studios alongside Leyou Technologies Holdings Ltd., a China-based video game holding company that was purchased by Tencent in December. Anonymous sources familiar with the matter told the publication that resulting contract negotiations led to a dispute between Amazon and Tencent — one that has resulted in the game’s cancellation. The game was being developed by Athlon Games and planned to be a free-to-play game for PC and consoles.

An Amazon spokesperson then confirmed to the publication that after Tencent’s acquisition of Leyou, “we have been unable to secure terms to proceed with the title at this time.” Amazon elaborated in the statement that it is “disappointed that we won’t be bringing this game to customers.”

Developers on the team who were working on the title will be moved to other projects.

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Since its launch in 2012, Amazon has mostly released games on the Amazon Appstore. An exception was The Grand Tour Game, an episodic racing video game developed and published by Heavy Iron Studios and Amazon Game Studios for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It was released in January 2019. In June 2020, the game was delisted from the PlayStation Store, Xbox Games Store, and Amazon. Amazon Game Studios has canceled unannounced projects codenamed Nova and Intensity, as well as released failures like Breakaway and Crucible.

On October 9, 2020, Amazon announced it would discontinue development on Crucible, a free-to-play shooter released in May to middling reviews. The team working on Crucible was shifted to focus on New World, an open-world MMO game for PC. Originally scheduled for a 2020 release, it has been delayed to be released sometime in 2021.

If you’ve been yearning for a new video game set in the universe of The Lord of The Rings, you still have something to look forward to. The recent Future Games Show: Spring Showcase saw the world exclusive gameplay reveal of The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, a story-driven action-adventure that was first announced in 2019. In this game, you’ll embark on a dangerous journey as Gollum, who is chasing the only thing precious to him. Aiming to serve as a brand new story that will fit alongside the iconic books by J.R.R. Tolkien, it is being developed by Daedalic Entertainment and contains “Prince of Persia-like stealth action” and a branching narrative. It’s scheduled for release on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch in 2022.

[Disclaimer: Tencent is the parent company of Fanbyte’s parent company. However, Fanbyte has editorial independence from it. I barely know what a Tencent is. I’m just here as a freelance writer to publish my weekend articles and good takes.]

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Natalie Flores

Natalie is Fanbyte's Featured Contributor, with bylines at places like VICE, Polygon, PC Gamer, Paste Magazine, and more.

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