Amazon’s LOTR MMO failed because the company just couldn’t get on with Tencent

By | 07/09/2022

Amazon’s LOTR MMO failed because the company only couldn’t get on with Tencent


(Image credit: NetEase Games)

What happens when yous give one of the globe’due south biggest licences to two of the world’due south biggest companies? One of them takes its ball and goes dwelling, it turns out. When Amazon’s Lord Of The Rings MMO was suddenly cancelled last year
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, we were left wondering what it was that had caused the talks between Amazon and Tencent to break down after what felt similar a significant corporeality of hype for the game.

In an interview with Gamespot
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, Amazon Games president Christoph Hartmann revealed that the game’s development got then complicated afterward the interest of Tencent—the Chinese tech giant with investments all over the globe
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—that Amazon decided it would rather drop the whole affair. Hartmann said the companies “perchance could take worked together” on a unlike project, simply they were “also big as companies to really plow into partners” on the MMO. So Amazon walked.

Amazon’south initial deal regarding its LOTR MMO was with the Hong Kong visitor Leyou, a firm that was practically microscopic compared to the gargantuan majority of Amazon and Tencent. Things were proceeding relatively well until Tencent acquired Leyou
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in December of 2020. That put a spanner in the works: Middle-world Enterprises—the LOTR rights holder—terminated the MMO’s rights to the LOTR licence and made it necessary to hash out a new deal.

Negotiations dragged on, just it seems that Tencent and Amazon but couldn’t come up to terms on how the Tolkienian pie would be divided. Hartmann makes it sound like the disagreement stemmed from a dispute over which megacorporation would take command over the relevant rights. He mentions that a situation in which Tencent owned the licence and Amazon developed the game was not acceptable, so Amazon decided to bond.

It doesn’t seem to have worked out likewise badly for either company. Tencent continues to pull companies into its orbit with slow-burning inevitability, while Amazon has a couple of successful MMOs on its hands in the course of Lost Ark
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and New World
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. “I want to keep on investing in that,” says Hartmann somewhat hopefully. “I know, information technology’s non going to be Lord of the Rings, but we have our own fantasy; why not keep building on that.”

As Amazon releases its Rings Of Power serial to great fanfare, yous’ve got to wonder if some modest role of the visitor wishes it had a lucrative, Middle World MMO to show off to its new viewers.

Fans of the serial accept the upcoming Gollum game
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and a project from Have Two’s Private Division
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to look forward to, only after that any future Lord of the Rings games will be coming from Embracer Group, which recently acquired the rights to arrange the serial
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. Tencent and Amazon are giants but Embracer’s been on an acquisition spree itself, conspicuously has money to burn, and didn’t purchase those rights for nothing.

One of Josh’s first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family unit computer when he was far likewise young to be doing that, and he’south been irreparably game-brained ever since. Since and then, his writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Fiscal Times. He’ll play pretty much anything, and has written far as well much on everything from visual novels to Assassinator’s Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you’re all far too mean virtually Deus Ex: Invisible War.