Amazon’s video game division has cancelled its multiplayer online role-player based on The Lord of the Rings. According to Bloomberg, the decision was a result of a contractual dispute between Amazon and Chinese corporate monolith Tencent.
The project was a collaboration between Amazon Game Studios (AGS) and Leyou Technologies, which was purchased by Tencent last year. Following the takeover, the two companies found themselves at an impasse, and after neither organisation was prepared to compromise, resulting in the being cancelled altogether.
It’s yet another setback for AGS, who really haven’t managed to release a successful effort since launching in 2014: The Lord of the Rings can now be added to the binned folder along with team-based Breakaway and Relentless Studios’ third-person shooter Crucible. Amazon own Twitch, which gives them a solid footing in the gaming industry, but AGS titles have never been the outfit’s strong suit.
According to Collider, there’s serious potential in a MMORPG based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s rich, dense and expansive lore, which has resulted in several solid games over the years but nothing that’s generated anything approaching the same sort of longevity and immersion enjoyed by the likes of World of Warcraft, The Elder Scrolls Online and others, despite the superficial similarities between the three sprawling fantasy properties.
Gamers do however have, Lord of the Rings: Gollum to look forward to, with the first gameplay teaser trailer arriving a few weeks ago, but the final version isn’t expected to launch until 2022.
Jeff Bezos must be a diehard fan of “Lord of the Rings” because Amazon shelled out $250 million to buy the TV rights to the seminal fantasy series by J.R.R. Tolkien, making it the most expensive show in history. Like the “Game of Thrones” spinoffs, the series will use the prequel approach and take place thousands of years before the events of the books and films, during the Second Age when Sauron forged the One Ring. Expect to see some Middle Earth denizens, like hobbits, elves and dwarves, plus evil creatures lurking around Mordor, like orcs, trolls and Uruk-hai. Though there has yet to be an announcement for a premiere date, the series is still expected to debut this year. The single season alone cost $465 million. Meanwhile gamers will just have to be patient.