Amazon Games Boss Explains Why Lord of the Rings MMO Got Canceled

As you might recall, a new Lord of the Rings MMO was announced some years back only to then have Amazon Games, which was previously Amazon Game Studios, announce it was collaborating with Leyou Technologies and Middle-earth Enterprises to get it done back in 2019. Last year, however, things fell apart and the project was canceled altogether. The reported reason at the time was a dispute between Tencent, which had acquired Leyou, and Amazon, but a new interview with Amazon Games boss Christoph Hartmann shed some further light on what, exactly, happened.

"We had a deal with a Hong Kong-based company, Leyou; I think it would have been great to work with them," Hartmann recently told GameSpot. "But they later got sold to Tencent and it just got very complicated."

Basically, according to Hartmann, there was a clause in the contract where Middle-earth Enterprises could terminate the rights if one of the partners was acquired, and that is exactly what the company did after Tencent purchased Leyou Technologies. This sent the whole agreement back to the drawing board, apparently, and negotiations ultimately were not fruitful between Tencent and Amazon in the aftermath with Amazon Games ultimately deciding to drop the project.

"The question was, sure, maybe could have worked together with Tencent to do something, but I think we're too big as companies to really turn into partners doing a property together where they own the license and we develop the game," continued Hartmann, according to GameSpot. "So we decided it's better to not work together there. Then we tried to figure something out with both ends, but I think it just dragged on too long."

What do you think about the reasoning given by Hartmann about the Lord of the Rings MMO getting canned? Would you like to see someone else give it a shot in the near future? Let us know in the comments, or feel free to reach out and hit me up directly over on Twitter at @rollinbishop in order to talk about all things Lord of the Rings and gaming!