In a recent financial press release, CDC Corperation, the company that licensed the exclusive rights to distribute Lord of the Rings Online in China, reported that not only had it failed to launch the game, but they spent $10 million dollars doing it. Finally after five years, Turbine announced the delay constituted a breach of contract and has now terminated the agreement.
In September 2006, CDC Games licensed the exclusive rights to distribute, in China, Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar (LOTRO), a MMORPG based upon the Lord of the Rings trilogy. For the past several years, CDC Games has experienced significant delays in the continued development and launch of this game. Since initially licensing this game, CDC Games has invested approximately $10.0 million in licensing, development and other costs related to it, including a $4.0 million initial non-refundable license fee.
CDC Games has received notification from the game’s developer that the failure to launch LOTRO constituted an event of default under our agreements with them. The developer has also asserted that our license agreement for LOTRO has been terminated. CDC Games is currently in settlement discussions regarding the license for LOTRO, but does not currently believe that settlement discussions will permit it to retain future licensing rights for LOTRO.
I’m glad that at least Turbine got to keep the $4.0 million licensing fee. Just another example of a Chinese corporation doing whatever the hell they want because there safe behind their “you can’t sue me” wall of protection. To take a already completed game and not be able to translate it in five years is embarrassing. Not only has Turbine lost years of revenue due to CDC’s incompetence, they’re going to have to start from square one with yet another shady Chinese gaming company whose last game’s content was probably stolen from other games.