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Lord Of The Rings: Gollum developer Daedalic reportedly lay off 25 staff, will focus on publishing

No more internal game development

Gollum holds a chick in his hands in The Lord Of The Rings: Gollum
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun / Daedalic Entertainment

The company behind the poorly received Lord Of The Rings: Gollum have reportedly laid off 25 staff and will no longer internally develop video games. Instead, Daedalic Entertainment will focus their efforts on publishing.

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German site Games Wirtschaft reported the layoffs, with Daedalic confirming that 25 employees from a team of over 90 would be let go. "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," said a statement provided to the site in German and translated via Google Translate.

Work has also apparently been stopped on what would have been a sequel to Lord Of The Rings: Gollum. The project, seemingly in development since mid-2022, was targeting a late 2024 release.

Lord Of The Rings: Gollum was met with critical derision and seemingly low sales upon its release in May. In our own Lord Of The Rings: Gollum review, Rachel called it "ultimately a very dull game" and "quite janky". Daedalic apologised in the days after launch and pledged to fix bugs and technical issues.

Most of Daedalic's success as a developer came via point-and-click adventure games released in the 2010s, including the Deponia series. They have attempted in more recent years to branch out with mixed results, releasing retro real-time strategy A Year Of Rain and roguelike space RPG The Long Journey Home, as well as publishing indie games such as Barotrauma, Inkulinati, Warpips and Shadow Tactics. In 2022, they were acquired by Nacon.

Recently announced survival spin-off Surviving Deponia is apparently still in development from an external studio, with Daedalic publishing.

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