The Gollum game, an ambitious Lord of the Rings spin-off, ends up being a colossal dragon-sized flop, leaving developers in a Balrog-sized hole.

Middle Earth Mishap: Gollum Slips on a $15.9 Million Banana Peel

As Sauron's evil eye watched eagerly from Mount Doom, Daedalic Entertainment, a small German developer plunged into the fiery pits of Middle Earth. Their quest? To bring the life of the pathetic and fascinating, Gollum, to the gaming realm. However, their adventures mirrored the perilous exploits of Frodo and Sam, albeit without the triumphant ending. Instead of a comforting brew at the Prancing Pony Inn, they received a mighty kick on the (old) Toby from countless frustrated gamers.

Venturing beyond their familiar shire of point-and-click adventure games, Daedalic took a brave leap into the treacherous marshes of 3D action platforming. They reportedly set aside a modest treasure chest of $15.9 million, around fifteen million Mithril coins in Middle Earth currency, valiantly attempting to compete with the booming industry of AAA blockbusters. However, like Bilbo in an invisible tussle with Smaug, they were unable to gather the necessary funds - a fact their former owner, Bastei Lübee, “publicly doubted”.

"But wait, there are more tales of horror, dear Hobbits", Gandalf would surely say, puffing on some Longbottom Leaf. Their journey didn't just end there. Getting a team of worthy wizards together proved as challenging as assembling the Fellowship itself! According to a report from the roving Riddle Masters at Game Two, they were unable to lure experienced developers into their quest. Instead, their journey was filled with unpaid overtime, a hefty crunch culture, and a rather unfriendly Balrog (founder) barking at the team, creating a Mordor-esque work culture.

Of course, Daedalic protested against the allegations, claiming to maintain a "Shire-like working atmosphere". Yet, even if we overlook the organizational woes, the journey ends like Thorin's ill-fated quest under the lonely mountain.

The game they released had as much charm as Gollum’s dental hygiene regime. “The Lord Of The Rings: Gollum,” stumbled out of the gate, staggered, and face-planted into a pile of dung. The game was crowned the dubious honor of 'Worst-Reviewed Game of the Year' back in May.

The underwhelming outcome seemed to have activated Daedalic’s own One Ring, making them disappear from the gaming realm altogether. By June, they had ceased game development operations and given their hard-working developers the equivalent of the Elven gift of dismissal, "you are laid off" in plain English. A rough deal for those loyal Hobbits who kept their heads down and worked tirelessly.

As word of the massive failure of the game spread across Middle Earth, other developers, probably imagining themselves in Daedalic’s worn-out hobbit shoes, expressed their sympathy.

After all, in the merciless world of gaming, the journey from the humble Shire to the dizzying heights of Mount Doom is fraught with perils. Ambitious ventures can lead to spectacular triumphs or spectacular failures. Sadly, for our brave German hobbits, their quest ended not with a triumphant return to a peaceful Shire, but in a flaming wreckage at the foot of Mount Doom.

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John Hope

Hey, I'm John Hope! Sneakers aren't just footwear to me, they're a lifestyle. Over the years, I've built a collection that would make any sneakerhead green with envy. But if you ask about my favorite? No competition, it's the Jordan 11. Those beauties are more than just shoes; they're a work of art, a piece of history. From the court to the street, my kicks tell my story. Join me on this sole-ful journey!

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