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News video games 09 October 2023, 13:58

Apology for Gollum's Failure Written by ChatGPT; Devs Had No Idea (Rumor)

The apology from The Lord of the Rings: Gollum devs for the game's condition was allegedly written by ChatGPT - in addition, without their knowledge or consent. Former employees of Daedalic Entertainment explain why this project was doomed from the start.

Source: Daedalic Entertainment.

Released on May 25 on PC, PS4, PS5, XOne and XSX/S The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is one of the worst-rated games of 2023. Only one title - Greyhill Incident - has a lower average score on

The title based on The Lord of the Rings novels turned out to be such a disappointment that the day after its release its authors, studio Daedalic Entertainment, issued a message to players, through which they solemnly apologized for the game's condition at launch and promised a number of fixes. Now reports have emerged that this message may have been written by ChatGPT.

ChatGPT apologizes?

Their source is former Daedalic Entertainment employees who recently gave an interview to Game Two. Based on it, a roughly 40-minute material was created. You can watch it below - the excerpt of interest begins at 36:03.

Daedalic Entertainment allegedly did not know about the publication of the apology message at all and, consequently, did not agree to its content. The note was supposedly created on the initiative of Nacon, which assisted the studio in publishing the game. Most interestingly, however, according to two anonymous sources the apology was written by ChatGPT, and not a human being.


In addition, it can be inferred from the above video that The Lord of the Rings: Gollum was doomed to failure from the start. Indeed, the game's budget was reportedly a mere €15 million - very little for an AA game. The developers were supposed to have submitted three applications for more funding, but each of them was met with refusal.


Moreover, the aforementioned license had an expiration date. This means the creators had to hurry, but in 2022 - i.e. after the first delay - the game was expected to be a "total failure." This was reflected in player feedback regarding the gameplay presented in July 2022. In the end, the decision was made to to postpone the release to May 2023. This supposedly allowed for the reduction of scope of game's predicted failure, but, as it turned out, only slightl.

The rush was said to be anything than inviting to frequent testing, and what's more, it made it impossible to refine many of the mechanics that were featured in The Lord of the Rings: Gollum. One can mention both the command menu for companions, diving from a first-person perspective or the "conversations" of Gollum and Smeagol, which "on paper" were supposed to resemble those of Peter Jackson's movies and be much more elaborate.

Many of these were never completed - as were a number of animations. Therefore, there are times when the protagonist overhears other characters as part of the plot, we don't see them, we see him.

Development issues

In addition, the game was said to be heavily stretched at first. The first level was reportedly twice as long as the one we know from the final version. It wasn't until a new producer joined Daedalic Entertainment in early 2022 that the individual sequences began to be streamlined and shortened. These changes were supposed to work out for the title, but they were implemented too late. As stated by the studio's former technical director, Paul Schulze (31:44):

"They [the developers - ed. note] simply didn't have enough time. You can't just spend some money on a project, add another year to development and hope that things will improve.

It wasn't realistic, because the foundation of the game didn't allow for that. People who have been in the industry for 10, 15 or 20 years worked on it. They ARE good, but they are not miracle workers."

This, of course, is so much a part of the problems Daedalic Entertainment faced in the development of The Lord of the Rings: Gollum. However, they clearly show why this project simply could not have succeeded.

Hubert Sledziewski

Hubert Sledziewski

Has been writing professionally since 2016. He joined five years later - although he has known the service since he had access to the internet - to combine his love for words and games. Deals mainly with news and journalism. A sociologist by education, a gamer by passion. He started his gaming adventure at the age of four - with a Pegasus. Currently, prefers PC and demanding RPGs, but does not shy away from consoles or other genres. When he's not playing or writing, he enjoys reading, watching series (less often movies) and Premier League matches, listening to heavy music, and also walking the dog. Almost uncritically loves the work of Stephen King. Does not abandon plans to follow in his footsteps. However, he keeps his first "literary achievements" locked away deep in a drawer.