All internal projects – including development on another Lord of the Rings title starting in 2022 – will be stopped and the company will focus on publishing, licensing, sales, and marketing going forwards.
Daedalic Entertainment, the developer behind "The Lord of the Rings: Gollum," has announced that they will no longer engage in internal game development. Instead, the studio will focus exclusively on publishing, as stated in a recent update shared by Games Wirtschaft.
The studio also issued a statement, saying (translated) that the moment marks a “difficult turning point” and “a new beginning in the long history of Daedalic Entertainment.” The company confirms that 25 of the more than 90 staff it employs are being let go as part of the transition.
“We value each and every member of our team and it is important to us that the transition goes as smoothly as possible,” company management said. “Therefore, we will support our former employees in finding new opportunities within our network.”
The reception of the game was overwhelmingly negative, with significant criticism directed not only at its portrayal of the beloved J.R.R. Tolkien character but also its numerous glitches, platforming mechanics, and art style. The Escapist’s Will Cruz remarked that the project’s gameplay offered “no sense of fulfilment or reward,” and he went as far as to caution even die-hard Lord of the Rings fans to “avoid this game like the plague.” Needless to say, Gollum marked perhaps the lowest point in Daedalic history.
At the time of publishing, Gollum is the lowest-rated game of the year on both major aggregation sites Metacritic and OpenCritic, with The Guardian labelling it “a derivative, uninteresting and fundamentally broken stealth action adventure that fails to capture anything interesting about Tolkien’s fiction.”
Shortly after its release, Daedalic apologised on Twitter for delivering what it called an “underwhelming experience” with the final game. The company said “[we] deeply regret” that the game did not meet expectations, and pledged to improve it via future updates.
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