Lord of the Rings pen-and-paper RPGs The One Ring and Adventures in Middle-earth are to come to an end next year, with the upcoming second edition of The One Ring also cancelled.
Published by British roleplaying studio Cubicle 7, The One Ring and Adventures in Middle-earth take place in Tolkien’s fantasy world between the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
The One Ring, first released in 2011, used an original gameplay system based around custom dice, while 2016’s Adventures in Middle-earth was an Open Gaming License (OGL) adaptation of the RPG compatible with Dungeons & Dragons 5E.
Announcing that The One Ring and Adventures in Middle-earth would cease publication in the first half of 2020, Cubicle 7 said that the “unfortunate and unexpected” news came as the result of “contractual differences” between the publisher and Sophisticated Games, the company that licenses Tolkien’s works for use in tabletop titles.
“Contractual differences arose recently which we have been unable to resolve, and so we have decided to end our licensing agreement with Sophisticated Games,” Cubicle 7 wrote in a blog post. “It is with regret that we have made this very tough decision to withdraw.”
A second edition of The One Ring was announced earlier this year for release between the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020. Cubicle 7 said that it wouldn’t have enough time to finish the second edition before The One Ring’s end; as a result, the second edition and its planned books, expansions and adventures have also been cancelled. This includes Moria - The Long Dark, a long-awaited adventure set in Khazad-dûm originally announced for the first edition of The One Ring before being pushed back to a release for 2E.
“Our team have worked incredibly hard on this new edition; with many of the announced titles already written and edited, so being very close to completion makes this decision even harder,” the publisher said.
“Although we were very close to the finish line when these issues arose, as gamers ourselves we did not feel it was right for the game, or fair to you, to release a new edition which we would be unable to support.”
Cubicle 7 confirmed it would refund all pre-orders for The One Ring 2E in full.
Despite the ending of two of its best-known games, the publisher said that 2019 had been its “most successful year to date” and offered assurance that the company’s other RPGs - including Warhammer titles Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying, Warhammer 40,000: Wrath & Glory and Warhammer: Age of Sigmar - Soulbound, plus the Doctor Who RPG - would continue.
“We are looking forward to 2020, which is shaping up to be our busiest year yet with many exciting releases planned,” it said.