Jon Burton, founder of LEGO series stalwarts Traveller’s Tales, has today shared not just news but loads of footage from an ambitious—but ultimately doomed—attempt he and the studio made to try and get a big, serious (ie, not LEGO) Lord of the Rings/Hobbit game made.
Burton, who now runs the popular Gamehut channel on YouTube, posted the footage earlier today, in a video called We spent over $1,000,000 pitching a videogame we never made.
Technically, it was a pitch for a Hobbit game, to be based on what was at the time a project still headed by Guillermo del Toro (Lord of the Rings director Jackson would only take over later). But in order to best capture the feel of Middle Earth without actually having seen any of the visual design that had been done for the Hobbit films, Traveller’s Tales decided to use iconic sequences from Lord of the Rings to illustrate their vision and tech.
So if you’re wondering why a Hobbit game pitch has loads of Aragorn and Elijah Wood in it, that’s why.
Sadly, as Burton says, the pitch never got anywhere because rights holders Warner Bros. wanted a game that ran alongside the movie, not recreating its events. And it’s not like TT didn’t then get to make two LEGO games based on The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings a few years later anyway.
But still, this looked great, and now I wish they’d thrown the Hobbit pitch out and just made a shinier, stealthier version of the original Lord of the Rings trilogy all over again.