The reasoning behind it is none other than Tencent, the Chinese tech giant that is slowly and steadily gaining ground in the Western market as well.
Bloomberg reports that the online RPG, based on Lord of the Rings, is no longer in development. The game was not only in development at Amazon Game Studios but also Athlon Games, and the Hong Kong-based, but China-owned Leyou Technologies Holdings Ltd. – this is the company that was acquired by Tencent last December. Who is Leyou, you ask? Oh, they are responsible for something called Warframe, and its studios previously put together Gears Tactics as well…
So why did Amazon shaft yet another project? (They are making it a trend that they announce a game, only for it to be cancelled later altogether…) It happened because contract negotiations fell through between Amazon and Tencent, according to people familiar with the matter. An Amazon spokesperson confirmed to Bloomberg that the company was „unable to secure terms to proceed with this title” after Leyou was acquired at this time. „We love the Lord of the Rings IP, and are disappointed that we won’t be bringing this game to customers,” the spokesperson added.
Amazon Game Studios announced the free-to-play MMO based on The Lord of the Rings in July 2019. The team, which included veteran developers who have worked on EverQuest, Destiny, Planetside, World of Warcraft, Defiance, Rift, and other MMOs, worked with Leyou and Athlon Games, and the title was meant to be available on PC and consoles. It wasn’t related to the Amazon Original Lord of the Rings TV series, but it was to be based on the world of the trilogy.
As with Google, Amazon has a certain problem: they might have the cash, but they don’t have the know-how in the gaming industry to succeed.