Amazon and Leyou have canceled that unfinished Lord of the Rings MMO

    
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For the last few years, we’ve been covering a new Lord of the Rings MMO that was a collaboration between Tencent’s Leyou Technologies and Amazon Game Studios. Back in November, leaked documents showed that the game was meant to be in playable prototype form by this coming June, with a closed beta in the fall and an open beta potentially in 2023. The game was originally set for both PC and console, and we assumed it would tie in with Amazon’s Lord of the Rings-flavored TV show.

Unfortunately, it looks as if none of this is going to happen, as Bloomberg is reporting that Amazon has canceled the game entirely. “We love the Lord of the Rings IP, and are disappointed that we won’t be bringing this game to customers,” Amazon admitted to Bloomberg. “We have been unable to secure terms to proceed with this title at this time” – a bit of an odd comment since we thought the licensing was secured years ago. At least there won’t be Amazon layoffs and the existing team members will be shuffled to other game projects, though it’s not clear what will happen to the Leyou/Athlon team working on its part of the title.

MMO readers will recall that Amazon, which has come under considerable fire after a report about the company’s internal culture, has been on quite a tear canceling games over the last while, including Breakaway and most recently Crucible. The studio hasn’t managed to actually launch anything successfully yet, though New World is slated to launch this summer after multiple delays. The company also just opened a new studio in Canada.

Further reading:

Source: Bloomberg
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Raleigh-St-Clair
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Raleigh-St-Clair

I wonder what all the head wobblers who kept saying, ‘New World will shutter; it’s just a prototype for the Lord of the Rings game…’ are saying now? They seem awful quiet.

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Ardra Diva

At this point, after reading that season 1 will cost Amazon approximately $450M, I am not concerned that “it won’t be any good”… only that it will break canon with some 2021 social tripe. That level of investment has a low tolerance for ineptitude and they don’t just write a check and then ask for an update a year later. They look at dailies, it’s a pretty careful process to make a major film/show.

we will see. Telling the 2nd Age story of the Fall of Numenor, the flight of Elendil’s family to middle earth, the establishment of Arnor and Gondor, a seemingly-rehabilitated Sauron as “Annatar, Lord of Gifts” and his plots and treacheries, the forging of the Rings of Power and what happened after is very fertile ground for a really good show, if the scripts are well-written. I’m pretty stoked to see characters like Gil-Galad.

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Jo Watt

From what I had read things were fine and Tencent just recently bought Leyou/Athlon (like December.) After that they could not come to agreements on the project.

This is probably the first time there are legit reasons for cancelling instead of them failing.

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Viktor Budusov

That’s sad. It’d be interesting ME in other timespan. Alas…

One Lotro to rule them all…

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Carebear

they have not released a game so far and is already in the list of worst gaming companies..

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Qu Reynolds

lol

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Jetra_Virsai

EDIT: This is a mess

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Sebastien Rivas

Does not Amazon know they have their own game engine a.k.a Lumberyard of which an Ip like LOTR mmo could be a great symbiosis?
Why going to China when you literally have studios ALL OVER the world not only with great passion but know how and gameplay oriented justification.

Not sure how much amazon wanted to invest in that ip tbh. Perhaps tencents was not the bad boy but I want to assume atop of my hat 120 to 150 mil will get you a beloved, played mmo IP and why not generate profit 9 months to 2 years post gold release.

Needless to say 2005-07 lotro is way past, botderline unplayable in 4k so the ip mmo side is really mature in my pov.

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Eamil

Amazon didn’t have the rights to the MMO. Leyou/Athlon Games did. They were working on it for a couple of years before Amazon got involved. They can’t just get another studio to do it.

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Ardra Diva

I’ve read that the love affair with Lumberyard has passed and devs don’t like it so much

ihatevnecks
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ihatevnecks

I still want to know what Smedley’s working on there. So far the San Diego AGS studio is the only one that’s never announced what they’re making. I think Smedley said in the past he’s doing an ‘unannounced MMO’ but that’s all we’ve ever gotten.

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Robert Mann

I would hazard a guess that the various conflicts, including rather high fines for Amazon from China and actions in turn to simply remove Amazon presence from China except through 3rd party shippers crossing the border with ordered goods MIGHT have something to do with things?

I would guess that Leyou have been nigh forbidden from proceeding unless/until Amazon gives in, and that Amazon just said “Okay, have fun, we will pursue less onerous opportunities”.

Further, it’s likely money related with Tencent being involved at this point.

Which means that licensing isn’t about LOTR as much as Chinese government and Tencent profits if true.

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Mark Jacobs

Damn shame about this. Having the $$$ from both Tencent and Amazon gave me some hope for this title. :(