Amazon Cancels The Lord of the Rings MMO-news

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(Image by Pau Llopart Cervello from Pixabay)

There’s few massively-multiplayer online (MMO) games that stand a chance of succeeding alongside World of Warcraft and The Elder Scrolls Online, but one carrying The Lord of the Rings name certainly had a chance. However, Amazon just canceled the game after three years of development.

As Reuters reports, the LotR MMO has been in development as a joint venture between Amazon Game Studios and Chinese video game holding company Leyou Technologies Holdings. In December last year, Tencent acquired Leyou, and that’s ultimately what caused development to cease.

In a statement, an Amazon spokesperson explained, “Following Leyou’s recent acquisition by Tencent, we have been unable to secure terms to proceed with this title at this time.” All existing Amazon Studio employees who were working on the game are being moved to other projects, confirming this isn’t a project with any chance of being restarted.

The game was first announced by the Leyou-owned published Athlon Games back in 2018. At the time, Athlon had “signed a long-term licensing agreement with Middle-earth Enterprises to develop and publish a video game based on The Lord of the Rings. Athlon Games is working with a partner developer to create an online game set in the world of Middle-earth at a time long before the events of The Lord of the Rings, exploring lands, people and creatures never seen before by fans of the Tolkien universe.” That partner turned out to be Amazon.

The news is a blow for fans of the books and movies, but it’s most frustrating for Amazon which is currently spending $465 million on a The Lord of the Rings TV series. An online game to sit alongside the show would have certainly increased the popularity (and revenue generated) for both.

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