The project had been announced and in development since 2019 and had an initial target of mid to late 2021 for launch. However, circumstances (not the least of which being the COVID-19 global pandemic) led to delays in the production. Earlier this year, it was reported that the game would be out by fall of 2022.
On the official The Lord of the Rings: Gollum Twitter account, Daedalic Entertainment shared the message announcing the unfortunate delay of the project.
An important message. pic.twitter.com/s2UvhPfILF
— The Lord of the Rings: Gollum (@GollumGame) July 25, 2022
The message begins with thanking the fans and supporters of the game. This is followed by the vision of what Daedalic Entertainment and Nacon are aiming for in realizing the gameplay and the world of The Lord of the Rings: Gollum.
Further into to the tweet, the developers confirm that the game will be delayed by at least a few months. However, there is no specific date given. Nor are we told if it will still launch within 2022. The message also gives a broad idea of the reasons for the delay:
We are dedicated to meeting our community's expectations and uncovering the untold story of Gollum in a way that honors the vision of J.R.R. Tolkien. That being said, in order to deliver the best possible experience, we have decided to push the release of The Lord of the Rings: Gollum by a few months. We will update you with an exact timing in the near future.
Quashed console release dates
The Lord of the Rings: Gollum was intended to be initially released on the current Sony Playstation, Xbox, and Windows PC platforms. A later Nintendo Switch version is also in the works. After the first delay, the release of the game would have come in September of this year for most of the platforms and on the Nintendo Switch by November to early December.
With the new delay, the earliest that The Lord of the Rings: Gollum will arrive would be November or December. Plus, given this possible release window, the Nintendo Switch version would likely not arrive until early 2023. For LOTR fans that were aiming to play on the Switch, the wait is going to be quite a bit longer.
The Lord of the Rings: Gollum displayed some of the concepts of the potential gameplay in a trailer released late in December 2021 at The Game Awards and another earlier in 2022. In it, the titular tragic antagonist of Tolkien’s Middle-Earth explores and accomplishes tasks through stealth and guile. Navigating through different terrain and hazards, the game seems like a mashup of Abe’s Odyssey and Metal Gear Solid.
One interesting aspect of the game is playing up the split-personality which was famously depicted by Andy Serkis in the LOTR trilogy. Interestingly, although the trailer did not show full combat encounters, most stealth action games have some method of dispatching NPCs if the need arose. The trailer showed Gollum using a rock and molten metal to get rid of orcs that might steal his "precious".
Would players get to play up some form of brutal takedowns and the use of terrain as makeshift traps? It was also unclear whether the mission simply fails or if there are ways to continue should Gollum gets spotted.