Lego Lord of the Rings and Lego The Hobbit have been removed from a number of digital distribution services. The two Warner Bros. Interactive-published games are based on the movie versions of J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy epics.
Reddit user SuperMoonky noticed their delisting from Steam, and we’ve verified their delisting from the PlayStation Store and Xbox Marketplace. It’s currently unclear as to why the games have been pulled from digital marketplaces while other games based on The Lord of the Rings are still available. Lord of the Rings: War in the North, and the Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor games are still currently available for purchase.
The delisting may be a result of expiring licenses for the movie properties. Unlike the games still available, the Lego titles used dialogue and imagery from the movies distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. Lego Lord of the Rings and Lego The Hobbit will have different licensing deals than other games based on Tolkien’s work.
Lego The Hobbit was recently given away for free on GOG. Other games like Alan Wake were heavily discounted before being pulled from digital store shelves (but returned late last year). Alan Wake and games like Grand Theft Auto IV had music licenses expire, which saw their delisting or patching to remove expired licenses. It’s currently unclear when or if Lego Lord of the Rings or Lego The Hobbit will return. As Warner Bros. still holds all the licenses, it may be a relatively easy process for the company, but that doesn’t mean it will actually happen.
Lego Lord of the Rings released in February 2013, and follows the Peter Jackson-directed film trilogy. The game also had a free roam mode where players could travel the lands of Middle-earth with side quests and activities to take part in.
Lego The Hobbit released a little over a year later in April 2014, and followed the story of the first two Hobbit films. DLC featuring content from the third movie, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, was never released.