Amazon has reportedly canceled its Lord of the Rings MMO game, first announced in 2019, making it just the latest in a growing list of unreleased projects from the tech giant. However, it appears this game’s cancellation came from a contract dispute rather than any issue with creating something that met quality standards. The company was not making the game alone, and its development partner was acquired by another company in the middle of production.
Bloomberg reported on April 17 that issues arose after co-developer Leyou Technologies was purchased by Tencent back in December. Amazon and Tencent could not then come to an agreement to continue developing the game, which was also being co-developed by an internal Amazon team, and this forced it to be canceled. According to a statement Amazon gave to Bloomberg, the internal team will move to other projects. The game was going to be free-to-play, according to the initial announcement, and was planned for both PC and consoles.
Leyou is the same parent company behind Warframe developer Digital Extremes and Gears Tactics studio Splash Damage. It also owns a stake in Certain Affinity, a studio that has worked extensively on support development for the Halo series.
Thus far, Amazon Games has a very rocky track record for actually shipping games. Multiplayer titles like Breakaway and Crucible have been canceled outright, with the latter actually releasing and then being un-released after receiving significant criticism. Two other projects were apparently canceled, as well, and the MMO New World has been delayed repeatedly. It’s now arriving in August, or at least that is the currently scheduled date.
Amazon is still spending a whole lot of money on another Lord of the Rings project, however. The first season of the upcoming Lord of the Rings show cost a reported $465 million to make, a staggering figure for a series that will be included free with Amazon Prime memberships.