Footage from a cancelled Lord Of The Rings game has surfaced on YouTube thanks to Jon Burton, the founder of developer Travellers Tales.
The company is most notably known for creating numerous LEGO games but attempted a new direction with a pitch for a game to tie in to The Hobbit movies prior to their release. A gameplay demo was created using the Lord Of The Rings movies as a template to showcase the idea which ended up costing $1 million to create.
Created in 2008, it took six months for the developer to create the levels to pitch the idea. Amongst the levels crafted were key moments from the Lord Of The Rings series, including the climactic battle between Gandalf versus Saruman. The demo reveals different playable segments including stealth sections with Frodo and action set-pieces with Aragon.
The game’s demo, which was set to run on the Xbox 360, gives an insight into other elements, which includes exploring famous environments from the franchise such as the Shire, and how motion-capture technology would be used to bring life to the character models.
You can check out some of the levels created here:
With all this gameplay created, Burton travelled to New Zealand in 2009 to pitch the idea to Peter Jackson and Guillermo Del Toro – who at the time was the original director for The Hobbit games. While the demos received positive feedback, Warner Bros. ultimately decided it wanted a game that wasn’t based around the movies.
Burton explains that he was “pretty happy with that decision as the movie was delayed a year, which would have meant we [Travellers Tales] would have worked a year longer on the game. Del Toro left the movie and the movie didn’t end up in the same league as the Lord Of The Rings.”
A couple of years later Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor was released by Monolith Studios and Travellers Tales created a LEGO Lord Of The Rings game alongside The Hobbit.