The Dev Team for 'Lord of the Rings: Gollum' Issued an Apology In Response To Negative Reactions

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

May 31 2023, Published 2:26 p.m. ET

The world of gaming is no stranger to some disastrous launches and major controversies. 2022 had more than its fair share, including the launch of Babylon's Fall being largely eclipsed by the release of Elden Ring as well as Blizzard's divisive transition over to Overwatch 2. Gaming has already had some newsworthy catastrophes in 2023 with the troubled release of Redfall and a glitchy PC port of The Last of Us: Part I. Now, gamers are confidently adding The Lord of the Rings: Gollum to the worst of 2023 so far.

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The game, developed by Daedalic Entertainment, follows the titular and well-known Lord of the Rings character. Taking place between the events of The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring, the goblin-like being corrupted by the One Ring sets off on a quest to find Bilbo Baggins and reclaim the Ring from him.

The game was released on May 25, 2023, but it has since garnered wide negative critical reception and a slew of hilarious fan reactions. Here's what you should know about Gollum's unfavorable launch.

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'The Lord of the Rings: Gollum' has generated hilarious reactions following its poor reception.

As of this writing, the PC version Gollum has earned a staggeringly low 41 score on Metacritic. The PS5 version fared even worse with a score of 35. Many critics have cited the game's "persistent crashes" as a major sticking point, with some outlets even reporting that the game's crashes prevented them from reviewing it properly before a day-one patch was released. Other critics call it an underbaked and glitchy experience that fails to do justice to the source material.

While critical reception has already been unkind to the game, fan reactions have been far harsher while bordering on hilarious.

Twitch Clips on Twitter posted about the game's glitches, in which the titular character freezes in mid-air during gameplay, causing random NPCs to bump into him incessantly.

A V-Tuber tweeted that the game hearkens back to the lackluster quality of licensed video game promotional tie-ins of yesteryear.

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"I appreciated the Gollum game existing to remind the general populace exactly what licensed games were like," they posted. "We got complacent with our 8-9/10 made-by-fans-and-industry-vets of recent years which made people go 'maybe licensed games were always good!' They weren't! They were [like Gollum]."

As a joke, writer John Paul Brammer tweeted, "I see why the Gollum video game failed. It should be about putting him in cute outfits."

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Both critical and fan reactions to the game have been so negative that the dev team at Daedalic Entertainment issued a public apology.

In their statement, they wrote "We would like to sincerely apologize for the underwhelming experience many of you have had with The Lord of the Rings: Gollum upon its release. We acknowledge and deeply regret that the game did not meet the expectations we set for ourselves or for our dedicated community."

However, even the studio's apology has become the target of some ridicule, with many gamers adding the statement to their collection of past game studio apologies for other controversial releases like Halo Infinite and Cyberpunk 2077.

If you're morbidly curious about the game yourself, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is currently available on PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series X/S, and PC.

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