Movie Reviews

Why LOTR: Gollum's Delay Is A Bad Sign For Tolkien Fans

Daedalic Entertainment’s Lord of the Rings: Gollum has been delayed to allow for further polish, which might end up hurting the game more than it helps. Little information accompanied the delay announcement, which didn’t specify a revised released date. With the game’s release timeline now up in the air, Tolkien fans have reason to be concerned.

In Lord of the Rings: Gollum, players will take control of the titular character as they sneak and platform their way across Middle-earth. The game looks to be quite expansive, with its preview taking Gollum from Mordor to Mirkwood, the home of Woodland Elves. Telling the story of Gollum in this medium was a choice that surprised many fans, but it looked to be a competent, if not unusual, action-adventure game as more details were revealed. Unfortunately, this delay could detract from the anticipation that LOTR: Gollum had managed to garner.

Related: When LOTR: Return To Moria Takes Place On Tolkien’s Timeline

While delays can have positive impacts, on games as well as the developers working on them, the balance between a delay’s benefits and detriments is a difficult one to strike. Since Gollum is such an unusual subject, Tolkien fans were already divided on the necessity of this game to begin with. After LOTR: Gollum‘s surprisingly sparse gameplay trailer a few weeks ago, those doubts were reinvigorated. Now, any hype still associated with the game is likely to begin dropping, resulting in it potentially having a less substantial launch than it deserved. Lord of the Rings: Gollum‘s uneasy showing thus far compounded with delays of unspecified length isn’t likely to instill fans with much confidence.

This delay isn’t the first one that Lord of the Rings: Gollum has experienced, which makes it all the more concerning. When it was initially announced in 2019, the game was set to release in 2021. Now, its September 1 release date has been pushed back by several months with no new date announced. Repeated delays are more foreboding for a game’s condition than having its release date pushed back just once, each time draining more hype from its eventual launch. Beyond beleaguering the game itself, these delays are also sure to weigh on Tolkien fans as a whole. With modern Lord of the Rings games few and far between, fans have had little to look forward to, and LOTR: Gollum‘s delay is just another blow on that front.

Of course, as previously stated, delays are often good for a game’s development in the long run. Lord of the Rings: Gollum‘s developers are less likely to experience crunch, hopefully, and they will have more time to polish the game and make it as good as it can be. Delays may be inconvenient and disheartening, but that temporary decline in hype can be worth it if the improved product is finished before too much time has passed. With LOTR: Gollum still slated to release in 2022, this extended development time may yet end up bolstering fans’ anticipation rather than eroding it.

Since its announcement, some fans have decried LOTR: Gollum as making little sense – both narratively and mechanically. Its protagonist and gameplay are far from what many expected from a new LOTR game, and it has often come in for ridicule as a result. A delay so close to release could be taken as a sign of trouble, but it may also indicate that Daedalic is committed to ensuring their game’s quality rather than prioritizing an unrealistic deadline. The final state of Lord of the Rings: Gollum remains to be seen, but Tolkien fans will have to wait to see if this delay was a genuine cause for concern.

Next: What Gandalf Is Doing In Lord Of The Rings: Gollum

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