Lord of the Rings: Gollum - Styx, but Gollum

I think most of us knew this was going to turn out badly.

I was never particularly interested in the game, but it seemed like it could have been a cool dark stealth/assassination game set in Middle-Earth. From the reviews I’ve seen there’s nothing redeeming about the title, it’s technically terrible, looks bad, sounds awful, glitchy as hell, and the gameplay offers a crappy camera, poor platforming, some light stealth, and incomprehensibly, you raise a baby bird (WTF, Gollum?!!) and have a human buddy you escort around and use for puzzles.

It seems apocalyptically bad. And it costs $60 too, this isn’t a $39.99 special.

Promo screenshot of the choices screen:

Actual screenshot of the choices screen:


Yeah, this thing has had the whiff of failure to it from the first teaser trailer.

Imagine being a preorder deluxe edition buyer. Imagine paying more for a soundtrack, art book, lore pamphlet, and this:

The Sindarin VO DLC, which adds a touch of authenticity to dialogue with the Elves.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard of VO being sold as DLC, even fantasy language VO.

PCG found it greater than the sum of its parts.

… and the Eurogamer strapline is Where Smeagols Dare, so that pretty much justifies the game’s existence IMO :-)

The Wing Commander Speech Packs.

Yeah, but that was no VO at all or VO as DLC. This is VO or fantasy language VO for DLC.

That’s fair. And also it was a different time of retail sale on media vs download.

Imagine doing this with all voiceover language translation? Pay more to get it in a language you can actually understand!? Though I don’t guess standards bodies would allow it unless they just removed all voiceovers.

EA looking with raised eyebrows…

Oh dear. Now I’m worried I’ve been hearing inauthentic elf accents all this time.

I wonder if this will still go ahead despite the game’s reception?

Given the likely cost to license the IP, I can’t imagine they will get another shot.

Whatever the next LotR-based game by Daedalic is, it has received €2m of public funding in Germany. They’re not gonna cancel it.

Did we talk about how they basically just apologized for the game being bad?


Dear players,

We would like to sincerely apologize for the underwhelming experience many of you have had with The Lord of Ring: 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 goal as a studio, and as passionate The Lord of the Rings fans, has always been to tell a compelling and immersive story-driven adventure. Crafting a story with Middle-earth as our playground has been the greatest honor - and the biggest challenge we have faced so far.

At Daedalic, we understand that a game’s success relies on the enjoyment and satisfaction of its players. We genuinely value your feedback and have been actively listening to your voices, reading your comments, and analyzing the constructive criticism and suggestions you have provided.

Our development team has been working diligently to address the bugs and technical issues many of you experienced. We are committed to providing you with patches that will allow you to enjoy the game to its fullest potential.

Once again, we deeply apologize for any inconvenience caused, and we appreciate your understanding during this time. We will continue to keep you updated on our progress and provide transparent communication regarding the upcoming patches and improvements. Your passion and dedication as players have been the driving force behind our determination to make things right.

Thank you for your support.



Mostly we see these kind of apologies for technical issues (Jedi Survivor), and some of that is mentioned here but this is more or less just “we meant to make a good game but we made a bad one” at a level I don’t recall seeing admitted to recently.

Indeed, from what I’ve heard even if every single bug was fixed, it would still be a solid IGN 7/10.

I brought it up in the business thread, because another developer argued against apologies like these and the seemingly entitled attitude of gamers:

Well, Daedalic announced that they’ll shut down their internal dev studio and focus on publishing going forward. 25 people getting laid off.

“Worst game ever”

At least it became a meme. How will those devs hide the time they spent on this in their CVs?