Amazon Games president explains why Lord of the Rings MMO was cancelled
- Amazon Games was set to publish a Lord of the Rings MMO with Athlon Games.
- The MMO was abruptly canceled in 2020 with little explanation, until a recent interview with GameSpot gave fans the clarity they needed.
Back in 2019, Amazon Games announced a new free-to-play Lord of the Rings project. It was set to be an MMO based on the books, not Peter Jackson’s trilogy.
This announcement also brought the news that a new TV show would be coming. This would later become The Rings of Power on Amazon Prime Video.
As time went on, it became very evident that this project would never see the light of day. Aside from the setting and teams working on it, zero information existed.
As of 2021, Amazon Games announced that the MMO was canned after years of little information. Fast forward to 2022, and fans finally get the closure they needed on the mystery MMO.
Tencent acquires Leyou in 2020
There were three key members behind this project. Amazon Games is the first and most prominent.
Athlon Games was announced to be behind the developers on the project. The team previously worked on Destiny, Everquest, and World of Warcraft.
Leyou would be aiding the team’s effort to market and publish the title in China.
However, things fell apart when Leyou was purchased by Tencent in Dec. 2020. Amazon Games president, Christoph Hartmann, stated the acquisition made things “complicated”.
Speaking to GameSpot, Hartmann had this to say about the deal:
“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.”Christoph Hartmann
He mentions that the rights owner, Middle-earth Enterprises, had a clause in the game’s contract. The clause stated the deal could be terminated should one of the partners got acquired.
Oddly convenient and plenty of foreshadowing in that contract.
Hartmann also mentions that the two parties tried to work something out. However, talks dragged on for too long as the two couldn’t reach a middle ground.
Unfortunately, fans got the short of the end stick as the MMO was canceled in 2021.
As much as fans were robbed, there’s still plenty of Lord of the Rings content on the horizon. The Embracer Group owns the rights to the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit as of this year.
Given how eager the Embracer Group is to bring back old titles, they could possibly resurrect this.