German publisher Daedalic Entertainment has decided to end all internal development, after the troubled launch of Lord of the Rings: Gollum.
All internal projects – including development on another Lord of the Rings title started in 2022 – will be stopped and the company will focus on publishing, licensing, sales and marketing going forwards.
In a statement to gameswirtschaft.de, the publisher described the decision as a “difficult turning point”, but also “a new beginning in the long history of Daedalic Entertainment” .
Daedalic confirmed that at least 25 employees are affected. Management said: “We value each and every member of our team and it is important to us that the transition goes as smoothly as possible. Therefore, we will support our former employees in finding new opportunities within our network.”
Following several delays, co-publishers Nacon and Daedalic released Lord of the Rings Gollum in May for consoles and PC, and it was met for unanimously negative reviews.
At the time of publishing, Gollum is the lowest rated game of the year on both major aggregation sites Metacritic and OpenCritic, with The Guardian labelling it “a derivative, uninteresting and fundamentally broken stealth action adventure that fails to capture anything interesting about Tolkien’s fiction.”
Shortly after its release, Daedalic apologised for delivering what it called an “underwhelming experience” with the final game. The company said “[we] deeply regret” that the game did not meet expectations, and pledged to improve it via future updates.
Taking place in parallel to the events described in The Fellowship of the Ring, Gollum is a fantasy action adventure game in which players embark on a quest to retrieve the One Ring.
It has an original story that takes players to several regions of Middle-earth and features familiar faces from J.R.R. Tolkien’s books.