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News video games 11 October 2023, 13:26

Lord of the Rings: Gollum Devs Got Burned Like Icarus but Keep Defending the Game

The developers of The Lord of the Rings: Gollum have denied rumors that an apology for the game's condition was written by ChatGPT. They also referred to various allegations supposed to explain the failure.

Source: Daedalic Entertainment.
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Daedalic Entertainment has addressed reports that its apology for the condition of The Lord of the Rings: Gollum was written by ChatGPT. Significantly, the creators' comment was in response to one of the questions asked by Game Two before the video we described on Monday was prepared. A set of questions and answers was provided by the developer to the German website GameStar.

Not ChatGPT, but Nacon

To the knowledge of Daedalic Entertainment it was not ChatGPT that wrote the apology in question.:

"We learned about this rumor from the media and asked Nacon [the game's co-publisher - ed. note] about it. According to it, the letter was not created using AI."

However, this does not change the fact that it is not Daedalic Entertainment, but Nacon that is behind the apology message, although it bears the caption: "Sincerely, Daedalic Entertainment."

"The post was published on the game's official Twitter account, which is not run by us, but by Nacon. Consequently, it were they who wrote it, Daedalic hasn't seen it before, so we can't say anything about its exact history."

It is worth noting here that this message appeared not only on X/Twitter, but also on Steam. To this, however, representatives of the German studio no longer referred.

Lord of the Rings: Gollum Devs Got Burned Like Icarus but Keep Defending the Game - picture #1

DE's apology published on X/Twitter.Source: Twitter / The Lord of the Rings: Gollum.

Suboptimal working conditions in the background

Instead, they commented on The Lord of the Rings: Gollum as such, stating that "the game is not as bad as some are portraying it." At the same time, the developer denied reports that it was the result of suboptimal working conditions at the company (referring to allegations of low wages, despotic management, lack of internal communication, unpaid overtime and high employee turnover, among others).

Lack of money and battle against time

In addition, information was confirmed about the low budget for the work on The Lord of the Rings: Gollum and the battle against timecaused by the expiring license to use The Lord of the Rings novels by J.R.R Tolkien - presumably their source was Daedalic Entertainment itself.

"It is true that we would have preferred to have a larger budget and thus a more numerous team to carry out this project. We did not receive any funding for Gollum, even though we submitted three applications. Funds would have helped us a lot, especially at the beginning of work on the game. (...)

For many years it had no co-investors. The situation changed only with the arrival of Nacon as a co-publisher. Eventually Gollum had a budget of about 15 million euros, a mere tenth of the amount that usually stands behind AAA productions. Finally, the time factor played a role, as the license was limited. Thus, a great many elements came together."

Daedalic & Icarus

On the one hand, one gets the impression that Daedalic Entertainment fought an uphill battle. On the other - it seems that the developer bit more than it could chew. In the end, however, the team got burned badly enough that abandoned not only another Middle-earthgame but also game development in general, limiting its activities exclusively to publishing them.

Is The Lord of the Rings: Gollum really such a bad title? Player reviews on Steam leave no illusions - since the release, which took place on May 25, there have been a mere 699 of them, of which the positive ones account for only 36%. A large proportion of industry critics also did not pull their punches on the game.

Hubert Sledziewski

Hubert Sledziewski

Has been writing professionally since 2016. He joined Gamepressure.com 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.

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