According to a €2m government grant.
Daedalic Entertainment, the studio behind the recently released and critically lambasted The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, has reportedly received funding from the German government to develop a second Lord of the Rings title.
As spotted by German website Wirtschaft (thanks Gamesradar), Daedalic has been awarded a €2m grant - approximately £1.7m - by the German Ministry of Economic Affairs to work on what appears to be a second game in J. R. R. Tolkein's beloved fantasy universe.
The project, which is currently listed under the codename "It's magic" on the Ministry of Economic Affairs' website, is described (via Google Translate) as a game that will transport players to a "lush world full of mythical creatures and magic" and tell a "story from a character's perspective that has never been told before."
"The player discovers completely new regions and influences the events of the world within the scope of his role and his abilities," the description continues. "He tries in his own way to influence the course of things and to change the fate of the world. This project is aimed at avid fans of the fantasy story and 3D action-adventure genres around the world."
While references to a character's previously untold story and attempts to "influence the course of things" certainly brings to mind Daedalic's recent, and much-maligned Gollum game, the funding notice points to a project with a very different development timeframe. The Lord of the Rings: Gollum was announced in 2019, but development on "It's magic" is listed as having started in June 2022 with an anticipated end date of August next year.
In response to a query from Eurogamer, a Daedelic spokesperson said of today's report, "At the moment we have nothing to comment."
Daedelic, for its part, is currently working to address criticism of its new Gollum game. In a statement shared today, it said it would "like to sincerely applies for the underwhelming experience many of you have had", promising "patches and improvements" to follow.
Eurogamer's Christian Donlan called The Lord of the Rings: Gollum a "well-intentioned mess, and one which I can tell talented people have poured their lives into" when he reviewed it earlier this week, awarding it just 1 out of 5 stars.