The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is one of the most high-profile misses in the gaming industry in 2023, as the widely panned action game has garnered an average score of 37. This made it quite surprising when news came out that that team was developing yet another game with that license. However, that’s no longer the case since it’s been canceled.
Daedalic Entertainment is stepping away from game development
According to GamesWirtschaft (and the translation from Twitter user Knoebelbroet), Daedalic Entertainment is closing its development studio in Hamburg, Germany and focusing on publishing instead. Daedalic mostly publishes games anyway, as evidenced by its Steam page that’s full of games it has only published. Around 25 of its employees are being laid off, too.
And as part of this restructuring, work on its next The Lord of the Rings game has stopped. This project wasn’t officially announced, but a game with the codename It’s Magic was found on the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action of Germany website. The page noted that Daedalic received over €2 million — almost $2.2 million — and that period of the funding would run from June 1, 2022 to August 31, 2024. There wasn’t much about the game itself, other than it would be “full of mythical creatures and spells” and have the perspective of a character that has “never been told before.” It was also aimed at “avid fans of the fantasy story and 3D action-adventure genres.”
This is just another part of the Lord of the Rings: Gollum saga, which has been full of negativity. It was originally announced in March 2019 and slated to come out in 2021 before being quickly pushed to 2022 just after the new year began. Nacon settled on a release date back in May 2022 before announcing a delay shortly after in July noting that it had to push the game “by a few months.” It was also heavily criticized for its visuals upon its full reveal. Many then took issue with the Sindarin voiceover DLC that was locked to the special edition.
And, of course, the issues didn’t stop upon release, as critical reception was overwhelmingly negative. Daedalic even apologized for the game’s quality and promised that patches were incoming.