As many Lord of the Rings fans know, Amazon Games has been working on an MMO dedicated to Tolkien’s work for several years now. However, in 2021, to the surprise of many, the game was cancelled. Today we will find out why: the development team was bought by Tencent.
The information came from Christoph Hartmann, president of Amazon Games, who told GameSpot that the Lord of the Rings MMO disbanded when the development team – Leyou – was sold to Tencent. Things “got more complicated” and Amazon Games just decided to end the relationship and move on.
We had an agreement with the Hong Kong company Leyou, which would be great to work with. But then it was sold to Tencent, and things got more complicated.
The license owner, Middle-Earth Enterprises, included a written clause in the agreement providing for the option to terminate the rights agreement if one of its partners were acquired, Hartmann said. When Tencent bought Leyou, Middle-Earth Enterprises took the option and everything stopped. Hartmann said that an agreement could be reached to continue development, but Amazon Games – after negotiations dragged on – decided to stop working.
Of course, maybe we could partner with Tencent to do something, but I think we are too big companies to be equal partners on the IP where they own the license and we develop the game. So we decided it was best not to work together. Then we tried to find a solution with both sides, but I think it took too long.
Amazon Games lost its Lord of the Rings MMO but had success with other MMOs: New World and Lost Ark.
@I want to keep investing in this industry. I know it won’t be The Lord of the Rings, but we have a fantasy, why not develop it?” Hartmann said.