Bloomberg is reporting that Amazon Game Studios – the game development arm of Amazon – has cancelled its upcoming Lord of the Rings online MMO. The project, announced in 2019, was due to release on consoles and PC. It was to be made by Athlon Games, a subsidiary of Leyou.
Athlon Games described the game as being set before the events of the books and movies. It was to explore “lands, people and creatures never seen before.” Problems arose when Leyou was purchased by Tencent Holdings in December. Amazon and Tencent were unable to agree terms to proceed with the title, according to an Amazon spokesperson. The spokesperson added that the team will work on other projects instead, adding, “We love the Lord of the Rings IP, and are disappointed that we won’t be bringing this game to customers.”
Amazon Game Studios was launched in 2014 and has yet to release a successful video game. The studio has canceled some games, delayed others, and – in the event of The Grand Tour video game – pulled games from storefronts. Blomberg reported in January that Amazon Games Studios also had several internal problems. These problems include a potentially sexist culture and a “painfully slow” in-house game engine.
Amazon’s incoming CEO Andy Jassey reiterated the company’s commitment to it’s video game division, which was founded under Amazon founder and current CEO Jeff Bezos, who is due to step down later in the year. “I believe this team will get there if we stay focused on what matters most,” Jassey said.
For it’s part, Amazon is clearly still committed to the Lord of the Rings. Recent estimates say the company is pumping $465 million into the first season of the upcoming Lord of the Rings TV show.