A few weeks ago, Humble Bundle gave away LEGO The Hobbit for free. This was slightly unexpected, and it was surprising when shortly afterwards, they gave LEGO Lord of the Rings away for free. Finally, just a week ago, both games were given away for free again. While most people saw this as a tease for a final The Hobbit DLC or a possible LEGO Middle-Earth reveal, we now know what it was truly for – a last-ditch attempt to move copies. Just a few days ago, the licenses to both games expired, and they were pulled from all digital storefronts. They mysteriously disappeared with no explanation, but Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has recently confirmed from a Eurogamer report they are gone for good. A company representative said the following on the games sales status:
“LEGO The Lord of the Rings and LEGO The Hobbit will no longer be available for sale in digital stores,” said the publisher. “The games will remain in players’ libraries if they already own them.”
Licenses expiring is not entirely rare in the games industry. Last year, Remedy Entertainment’s popular horror story game, Alan Wake, was pulled from digital stores due to an expiration in David Bowie and Depeche Mode’s soundtrack to the game. Earlier this year, Rockstar Games was forced to patch Grand Theft Auto IV and remove over 50 in-game songs after the 10-year music contract expired.
However, if you are missing either of the LEGO Middle-Earth games from your collection, you can easily find physical copies of LEGO Lord of the Rings for PS3 or Xbox 360 at your local game or software store, and physical copies of LEGO The Hobbit for PS4, Wii U, or Xbox One at a similar location. You can also shop for a physical copy of LEGO Lord of the Rings on PC here. No US PC-DVD copies of LEGO The Hobbit are available on Amazon, but you can find a UK import on Amazon for only $10 + shipping here.
LEGO The Hobbit is considered quite controversial among the LEGO games community, as Warner Bros. dipped out on their initial promise of a paid DLC for the third movie, leaving many fans angry about the supposedly “unfinished” status of the game.
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