Daedalic Entertainment, the German studio responsible for the critically-panned The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, is shutting down its game development operations, including scrapping work on its follow-up Lord of the Rings game and laying off development staff.
The studio revealed the news in a statement to German outlet, Gameswirtschaft, confirming that it will no longer develop games internally but will restructure to focus on publishing duties including marketing, licensing and sales going forward. As part of the restructure, around 25 employees have been laid off, with Daedalic management saying, “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.”
Before this decision, Gollum was to be “only the first of several games based on the Lord of the Rings license” and Daedalic had been the recipient of a grant worth more than $3.2 million AUD from the German government for the next project – codenamed “It’s Magic” and supposedly planned for the second half of 2024.
Gollum suffered heavy criticism when it launched in May this year and currently holds a Metascore of just 34 on PS5. Following widespread criticism, Daedalic Entertainment issued an apologetic statement, saying, “We would like to sincerely apologise for the underwhelming experience many of you have had with The Lord of Ring [sic]: Gollum upon its release. We acknowledge and deeply regret that the game did not meet the expectations we set for ourselves or for our dedicated community. Please accept our sincere apologies for any disappointment this may have caused.”
Our own review scored the game a 3/10, which concludes, “I struggle to think of a positive experience over the thirteen-odd hours I spent playing this game. Gollum is uninspired and dated and The Lord of the Rings fans deserve better than this.”