Lord of the Rings MMO cancelled as Amazon and Tencent could not work together

Lord of the Rings MMO cancelled as Amazon and Tencent could not work together

Amazon's The Lord of the Rings MMO was apparently ditched due to the fact it could not work with Chinese games giant Tencent.

Back in July 2019, Amazon said that it was partnering with Leyou Technologies to make an MMO based on the Lord of the Rings IP. The project was cancelled in April 2021 after Leyou was acquired by Tencent for $1.3 billion.

Speaking to GameSpot, the president of Amazon games Christoph Hartmann (pictured) said that two companies the size of Amazon and Tencent simply cannot work together. At the time, it was reported that the partnership had fallen apart due to contract disputes. 

"The question was, sure, maybe could have worked together with Tencent to do something, but I think we're too big as companies to really turn into partners doing a property together where they own the license and we develop the game," Hartmann explained.

"So we decided it's better to not work together there. Then we tried to figure something out with both ends, but I think it just dragged on too long."

As for how the deal ended, Middle-earth Enterprises – which owned the Lord of the Rings license – had a clause in its contract that meant it could cancel the contract if one of the partners was acquired.

Amazon's Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power TV show debuted last week with over 25 million people from around the world tuning in to watch the first two episodes.

The Lord of the Rings IP was recently acquired by European publishing giant Embracer for an undisclosed – but presumably pretty huge – sum. 

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.