The American eCommerce giant Amazon’s video game division has dropped its plans on an online role-playing game based on the fantasy series Lord of the Rings.
Amazon Game Studios announced the project with China-based Leyou-owned Athlon Games back in 2019 and planned to make it a free-to-play game for PC and consoles.
Late last year, Leyou Technologies was acquired by Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings. The resulting contract negotiations led to a dispute between Amazon and Tencent that eventually caused the game’s cancellation, as per sources.
The Amazon team working on the game will be moved to other projects of the company. “We love the Lord of the Rings and are disappointed that we won’t be bringing this game to customers,” Amazon’s spokesperson said.
Amazon Game Studios has struggled to release a successful video game since its launch in 2014. The company has canceled previously announced games Breakaway and Crucible, while another of its games, New World, has been postponed repeatedly. The company’s video game adaptation of The Grand Tour in 2019 was not received as expected and they pulled it from storefronts.
Earlier this year, it was 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 slow.
Meanwhile, Amazon’s incoming CEO Andy Jassy stated that he’s committed to the video games division, which launched under outgoing CEO and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. “I believe this team will get there if we stay focused on what matters most,” Mr.Jassy said.
Amazon still reportedly plans to spend a huge sum on a different Lord of the Rings property, it is said to be paying $465 million for the first season of the fantasy series’ TV show.