Amazon was set to release a free-to-play MMO based on Tolkien’s Lord the Rings works sometime this year. However, in April 2021, the project was cancelled, with reports claiming a dispute with mega-games company Tencent was the catalyst for this decision.
Now, speaking to GameSpot, Amazon Games president Christoph Hartmann confirmed this was indeed the case.
“We had a deal with a Hong Kong-based company, Leyou; I think it would have been great to work with them. But they later got sold to Tencent and it just got very complicated,” Hartmann explained.
“The question was, sure, maybe [we] could have worked together with Tencent to do something, but I think we’re too big as companies to really turn into partners doing a property together where they own the licence and we develop the game,” Hartmann elaborated.
In the end, Amazon “decided it’s better to not work together there”.
Hartmann did say the companies “tried to figure something out with both ends”, but it ultimately all “dragged on too long” and the project’s development came to an end.
As for the Lord of the Rings IP, that is now in the hands of Embracer, after the Swedish conglomerate announced its plans to buy Middle-earth Enterprises last month.
We also have the upcoming Gollum launch from Daedalic Entertainment and a new Lord of the Rings game on the way from Private Division and Weta Workshop on the horizon.
Amazon, on the other hand, currently has its Lord of the Rings spin-off show, The Rings of Power, available to stream through its Prime subscription service.