Amazon Games boss explains cancellation of Lord of the Rings MMO
The Lord of the Rings franchise came very close to having an MMO, announced in 2018 and officially canceled in April 2021. Details about what happened behind the scenes had not been revealed at the time, but that changed with new statements from the president of the franchise. Amazon GamesChristoph Hartmann.
In an interview with GameSpot, the executive finally spoke about the case. The project was developed in partnership with the studio Athlon Gamesa subsidiary of the company Leyou Technologiesfrom Hong Kong, which was eventually bought by the Chinese giant tencent.
According to him, the company that held the franchise rights, Middle-earth Enterprisesexercised the right of a clause in the contract, providing that the company could terminate the negotiation of the rights if one of its partners was acquired.
The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is one of the games in the franchise currently in development (Disclosure)Source: Daedalic Entertainment
Hartmann explains that Amazon tried to continue the project in other ways, but the proposal became untenable: “The point is, of course, maybe we could have worked together with Tencent to do something, but I think we’re too big companies to become partners by making a property together where they have the license and we develop the game.”
“So we decided it was better not to work together there. So we tried to think of something with both sides, but I think it dragged on too long,” he concluded.
It is likely that the project would have suffered even more this year had it continued. In July of this year, Middle-earth Enterprises was acquired by Embracer Groupwhich will receive the rights to films, games and other media involving the universe of JRR Tolkien.
Fortunately, there are other game projects in the works. In August of this year, Weta Workshop and Private Division announced a partnership to develop a game in the Lord of the Rings franchise. By June, the survival-building title The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria had been revealed.