Amazon.com Inc.’s beleaguered video game division has cancelled an online role-playing game focused on the fantasy series Lord of the Rings that was revealed in 2019, the technology giant’s latest setback.
The game was developed at Amazon Game Studios in collaboration with China’s Leyou Technologies Holdings Ltd., which was acquired in December by conglomerate Tencent Holdings Ltd. Contract negotiations that ensued resulted in a disagreement between Amazon and Tencent, which ultimately resulted in the game’s cancellation, according to people familiar with the matter who requested anonymity because they were not allowed to talk publicly about the matter.
According to an Amazon spokesperson, following Tencent’s purchase of Leyou, “we have been unable to negotiate terms for this title at the moment.”
Amazon’s game development team will be reassigned to other projects. “We adore the Lord of the Rings IP and are saddened that we will not be able to offer this game to customers,” a company spokesperson said in a statement.
The cancellation comes on the heels of a series of bad news for Amazon Game Studios, which has yet to produce a profitable video game since its inception in 2014. Breakaway and Crucible, which were previously announced, have been canceled. Another of the company’s games, New World, has been repeatedly postponed.
Amazon owns the iconic streaming service Twitch, but its video game business has struggled for years due to mismanagement and cultural clashes between game developers and the company’s values, Bloomberg reported earlier this year.