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Amazon and Tencent has canceled its Lord of the Rings MMO game

We have bad news for those who were waiting for the arrival of the MMO of The Lord of the Rings, as it was reported that Amazon canceled its development. The project was a collaboration between Amazon Game Studios, Athlon Games, and Leyou Technologies Holdings Limited.

The game was to be set “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,” according to an announcement from Athlon at the time. But Leyou was acquired by Tencent Holdings in December, and an Amazon spokesperson said in an email to The Verge that the company was “unable to secure terms to proceed with this title at this time.”

The Lord of the Rings game was originally announced in September 2018 by Athlon and rights holder Middle-earth Enterprises.

Athlon said at the time it was working with a “partner developer” to create an online game set “long before the events of The Lord of the Rings, exploring lands, people and creatures never seen before by fans of the Tolkien universe”.

Following other live services like Destiny 2 and Fortnite, the cancelled game would have lasted several years according to the initial announcement.

One of the anonymous sources pointed out that after the acquisition of Leyou by Tencent, there was a restructuring and changes in the contracts of those involved in the project. These latest modifications caused conflicts between Amazon and the new parent company of the Asian developer, which could not be resolved through negotiation.

Since its launch in 2014, Amazon Game Studios has yet to release a successful video game, canceling some previously announced games and delaying others. Its video game adaptation of The Grand Tour in 2019 got such bad reviews that the game was pulled from storefronts. In January, Bloomberg reported that the games studio had internal problems, including a culture that didn’t provide equal opportunities to men and women, and an in-house game engine that was “painfully slow.”

Amazon is currently developing a new The Lord of the Rings TV series, and could reportedly spend some $500 million for just the first season of the show.

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