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Amazon reportedly cancels Lord of the Rings game

The word "games" above Amazon's trademark smile, set onto a purple screenshot of a game developer at work
(Image credit: Amazon Games)

Amazon is rumored to have canceled the development of its upcoming Lord of the Rings video game.

While the game had been in development at Amazon Game Studios in partnership with Tencent's Leyou Technologies, it's now been reported that development has been shuttered following a contract dispute between megacorps Amazon and Tencent.

Detailed license documents about the Lord of the Rings MMO leaked online at the end of last year, hinting that "as part of the acquisition of Leyou by Tencent" a bunch of legal documents were released, "including Leyou's original Game License Agreement for the Lord of the Rings game with Middle-earth Enterprises and the co-development and co-operation agreement with Amazon". 

The post included the amendment documents and a production schedule detailing the planning of the MMO, with a first draft of the complete game lore and narrative expected to be completed by January 11, 2021. 

Now, however, an Amazon spokesperson has told Bloomberg that following Tencent’s acquisition of Leyou, it has "been unable to secure terms to proceed with this title at this time".

"We love the Lord of the Rings IP, and are disappointed that we won’t be bringing this game to customers," the spokesperson said in a statement.

There have been plenty of Lord of the Rings IP in recent years, including Monolith Production’s Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Middle-earth: Shadow of War. The next game to be set in JRR Tolkien’s fantasy world is Daedalic Entertainment’s The Lord of the Rings: Gollum which is expected to launch in 2021.

Just five months after the free-to-play shooter launched in May 2020, Amazon Games shut down development on Crucible, the studio's first big-budget game. 

For more on Middle-earth, here’s why Daedalic think Gollum is such an interesting hero.

Vikki Blake
Vikki Blake

Writer. Guardian. Spartan. Silent Hillian. Little Sister. High Chaos. I also write for other fine places including the BBC, Eurogamer, and GamesIndustry.biz, and have a weekly games column at NME.