And another mod bites the dust. MERP (aka Middle Earth Role Playing) was a mod that was meant to bring The Lord Of The Rings universe to Skyrim. It was a promising mods and like most promising mods, it got cancelled. No no no, the team did not abandon its project. Warner Bros simply felt threatened – yes, threatened is the correct word to describe it – by this talented modding team and decided to send a Cease & Decist letter to them.
Therefore, the team has decided to stop development of the mod as they simply don’t have the resources to go against this, and hiding in anonymity wouldn’t work because due to the great ambitions MERP needs publicity to sustain the life force of the team.
What’s funny here is that a ‘Lord Of The Rings’ mod – called Third Age: Total War – was released for Total War and never received a C&D letter. Could this mean that Warner Bros is preparing a new, proper role-playing game that is based on The Lord Of The Rings universe? Ironically, Warner Bros had previously released some strategy LOTR games, so we really don’t understand how the Total War mod didn’t ‘bother’ Warner Bros. Unless it passed under their radar, which sounds unlikely.
All in all, another ambitious mod gets canned. We can understand publishers (and developers) sending C&D letters when indie teams are heavily using assets from their games for their commercial titles, but sending C&D letters for free projects (and mods) that only share a specific theme and can overshadow their mediocre games is what really disgusts us.