Amazon Games had big plans for the the Lord of the Rings IP in the late 2010s, with a major MMO announced in 2018. It would have been a radical adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s beloved world, and was intended to spotlight the second age of Middle-earth – the same as the one featured in Amazon. power rings adaptation. But while the expectation for the title was high, it was officially canceled in 2021. Now Amazon Games President Christoph Hatmann is talking about Why.
In a new interview with GameSpot’s Eddie Makuch, Hartmann explained that development of the game has become extremely complicated due to the acquisition of Chinese game developer, Leyou. The company was purchased by Tencent mid-development on the the Lord of the Rings game, complicating its development cycle and business relationships.
“We had an agreement with a Hong Kong-based company, Leyou; I think it would have been great to work with them. But then they were sold to Tencent and it got very complicated,’ Hartmann told Gamespot.
Middle-earth Enterprises, the company in charge of JRR Tolkien’s creative intellectual property, reportedly had a termination clause in Amazon Games’ contract that said it could kill the project if a partner was acquired – and opted out. exercise this option when communication is interrupted.
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“The question was, of course, maybe they could have worked with Tencent to do something, but I think we’re too big as a company to really become partners doing ownership together where they own the license. and we’re developing the game,” Hartmann said.
The talks reportedly “took too long”, although the two companies worked together to “find something on both sides”. Negotiations dragged on and jeopardized the game’s quality and development cycle, leading to an unfortunate termination.
That said, dealing with the Lord of the Rings IP has not been everything bad news for Amazon. Around the same time, the company was working on the mystery of the “second age” the Lord of the Rings MMO was also about developing TV series, power rings. It debuted in September to rave reviews from fans of the franchise and continues to enjoy a strong run on Amazon’s streaming platform.
Meanwhile, Middle-earth Enterprises is currently being acquired by Embracer Group, which has a long history in the games industry. If this acquisition goes through, it’s likely we’ll see even more plans for the Lord of the Rings video game adaptations, spin-offs, prequels and sequels in the future.