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Developer reveals $1 million demo for cancelled game based on The Hobbit

For many years now, British studio ‘Traveller’s Tales’ has specialised in Lego video games based on movies and other IP. Once upon a time though, the studio pursued non-Lego versions of The Hobbit, spending $1 million on the demo that would be pitched to Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment. 

Traveller’s Tales founder, Jon Burton, talked about his studio’s failed project on his YouTube channel, GameHut. The video not only details the process of making the demo, pitching it and the challenges faced along the way, it also contains footage from the cancelled game:

The game was indeed set to be a tie-in to The Hobbit films. The studio was given six months to create the demo, which would then be shown to Peter Jackson, director of the films. However, Traveller’s Tales did not have access to the scripts or screenplay for The Hobbit’s movie adaptation, so scenes from The Lord of the Rings were used instead.

Four playable levels were created and an additional five in-engine ‘tech demos’ were also made, which cost around $1,000,000 to create. Apparently, Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro were onboard with these games being made but Warner Bros decided against it.

KitGuru Says: This is a very interesting story, so be sure to check out the video. It isn’t often that we see developers speaking freely about cancelled projects on their own terms. 

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