Amazon Game Studios has canceled a Lord of the Rings online role-playing game, Bloomberg reported. The company announced the project with Leyou-owned Athlon Games back in 2019, and planned it to be a free-to-play game for PC and consoles.
The game was to be set “at a time long before the events of The Lord of the Rings, exploring lands, people and creatures never seen before by fans of the Tolkien universe,” according to an announcement from Athlon at the time. But Leyou was acquired by Tencent Holdings in December, and an Amazon spokesperson said in an email to The Verge that the company was “unable to secure terms to proceed with this title at this time.”
The team from the LOTR project will work on other games for the company, the spokesperson added. “We love the Lord of the Rings IP, and are disappointed that we won’t be bringing this game to customers.”
Since its launch in 2014, Amazon Game Studios has yet to release a successful video game, canceling some previously announced games and delaying others. Its video game adaptation of The Grand Tour in 2019 got such bad reviews that the game was pulled from storefronts. In January, Bloomberg reported that the games studio had internal problems, including a culture that didn’t provide equal opportunities to men and women, and an in-house game engine that was “painfully slow.”
But Amazon’s incoming CEO Andy Jassy said in response that he’s committed to the video games division, which launched under outgoing CEO and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who is stepping down as CEO later this year. “I believe this team will get there if we stay focused on what matters most,” Jassy said.
In the meanwhile, Amazon still reportedly plans to spend a breathtaking sum on a different Lord of the Rings property: it’s said to be paying $465 million for the first season of its LotR TV show.
Update April 17th, 6:45PM ET: Added statement from Amazon spokesperson.