Goodbye Middle Earth: Amazon Cancels Lord of the Rings Video Game

Not looking good for the studio.
Not looking good for the studio. Amazon

When it was first announced that Amazon Games was developing a Lord of the Rings MMO, there was a lot of excitement. The fact that it was going to be a free-to-play game upped the hype even more. However, all that appears to be going the way of Sauron’s Dark Tower as reports have confirmed that the game has been canceled.

The game was first announced in 2019 and was to be developed with Leyou. By April 2020, it was reported that the game was moving forward and Leyou was in the market to form a team. These included, among others, an art director, lead editor, and even gameplay UI engineer.

So what exactly happened? It turns out that Leyou was bought by Tencent Holdings. If that name sounds familiar, which it should, it's the same company involved with Call of Duty Online, PUBG Mobile, and Arena of Valor.

Tencent buying Leyou resulted in problems for Amazon Game Studios. A report revealed that there were contract negotiations that led to disputes and the eventual cancellation of the game. That same report, citing an Amazon spokesperson, said that Amazon had been excited to bring this game to players but they were unable to secure the needed terms to push forward.

Amazon launching a Lord of the Rings would have been a good addition to its portfolio considering that it’s releasing a TV series based on the franchise.

Amazon’s foray into gaming started in 2011 when it started the Amazon Appstore. Then in 2014, Amazon Game was created to focus on computer games. Things haven’t gone well though as it has yet to release a successful title. In addition to Lord of the Rings MMO, it has canceled four other games.

The studio actually released a game in 2019 titled The Grand Tour 2019 . As the title implies, the game allowed players to experience an episode of this TV show. While fans of the show did give it positive reviews, other players weren’t as happy. The game was eventually removed from the Xbox Game Store, PlayStation Store, and even Amazon.

The only thing left now is New World slated for release in August this year. Let’s see if this is the one that breaks Amazon’s curse in the gaming world.

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