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Amazon Cancels Lord of the Rings MMORPG Project

According to a newly released report by Bloomberg, Amazon has canceled its Lord of the Rings MMORPG, which it announced in 2019. This is the latest addition to the now long list of canceled projects by Amazon Game Studios – the tech giant’s struggling game division that is yet to release a single title.

The game was a product of joint development between Amazon and the Chinese company Leyou. The Chinese developer has recently been acquired by Tencent Holdings, one of the biggest video-game companies in the world, holding stakes in companies like Ubisoft, Activision Blizzard, and Riot Games.  A contract dispute broke out following the acquisition, leading to the cancellation of the game.

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed that the failed negotiations with Tencent were the reason the game was being canceled, saying: “We have been unable to secure terms to proceed with this title at this time.” Amazon’s follow-up statement dashed any hopes that this was only a temporary cancellation: “We love the Lord of the Rings IP and are disappointed that we won’t be bringing this game to customers.”

Now known as Amazon Games, Amazon Game Studios already canceled two known video-game projects, Breakaway and Crucible, along with several unannounced ones. The upcoming MMORPG New World is the division’s only public project left standing, and that title has been delayed several times so far.  These issues at Amazon were summed up well by Bloomberg’s journalist Jason Schreier: “Amazon can make just about anything – except a good video game.” 

Amazon owns the ultrapopular streaming platform Twitch, which gives the company a vast potential to market its games. However, this potential remains untapped so far.

Amazon is also in charge of producing the Lord of the Rings TV series, which was supposed to partially coincide with and increase interest in the MMORPG game. Reportedly, the show’s first season will cost Amazon $465 million.  The megacorporation might have issues, but money isn’t one of them. One thing’s certain – gamers will have to sit and wait until someone else announces a LOTR MMO, as the incredibly famous IP surprisingly has only one MMO to its name so far.