Following the purchase of Leyou, which also owned Warframe studio Digital Extremes and Dirty Bomb developer Splash Damage, Lord of the Rings contract negotiations between Amazon and Tencent are said to have broken down.
“We have been unable to secure terms to proceed with this title at this time,” an Amazon spokesperson confirmed.
“We love the Lord of the Rings IP, and are disappointed that we won’t be bringing this game to customers,” they added.
The Amazon team developing the game is reportedly due to be moved to other projects.
The Lord of the Rings game was originally announced in September 2018 by Athlon and rights holder Middle-earth Enterprises.
Athlon said at the time it was working with a “partner developer” to create an online game set “long before the events of The Lord of the Rings, exploring lands, people and creatures never seen before by fans of the Tolkien universe”.
In addition to co-developing the title, Amazon Game Studios was set to market and publish the game globally except for China, which would be managed by Leyou.
Amazon Game Studios VP Christoph Hartmann said in 2019: “Tolkien’s Middle-earth is one of the richest fictional worlds in history, and it gives our team of experienced MMO developers — from the same studio developing New World — tremendous opportunity to play and create.
Amazon is currently developing a new The Lord of the Rings TV series, and could reportedly spend some $500 million for just the first season of the show.
“This will be the largest television series ever made,” Stuart Nash, New Zealand minister for economic development and tourism, said this week.
Amazon has game development studios in Seattle, Orange County, San Diego and Montreal.
The company, which is gearing up to release its thrice-delayed open world MMO New World in August 2021, is also working on a multiplayer title from some of the core team behind Rainbow Six Siege, plus “several unannounced projects”.