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April 17, 2021

Amazon.com Inc.’s embattled video game division has canceled an online role-playing game based on the fantasy series Lord of the Rings, which was announced in 2019, in another setback for the technology giant.

The game had been in development at Amazon Game Studios alongside the China-based Leyou Technologies Holdings Ltd., which was purchased by conglomerate Tencent Holdings Ltd. in December. The resulting contract negotiations led to a dispute between Amazon and Tencent that eventually caused the game’s cancellation, said people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the issue.

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed that after Tencent’s acquisition of Leyou, “we have been unable to secure terms to proceed with this title at this time.”

The Amazon team working on the game will be moved to other projects. “We love the Lord of the Rings IP, and are disappointed that we won’t be bringing this game to customers,” the spokesperson for the Seattle-based company said in a statement. 

The cancellation follows a string of bad news for Amazon Game Studios, which has been unable to release a successful video game since launching in 2014. The company has canceled previous announced games Breakaway and Crucible. Another of its games, New World, has been delayed repeatedly.

Amazon owns the popular streaming service, Twitch, but its video game division has been floundering for years because of mismanagement and cultural clashes between game developers and the company’s principles, Bloomberg reported earlier this year.

Reported by Bloomberg