After a brutal response from reviewers and gamers alike—”Distress! Distress! Curse Daedalic. Curse it and crush it! We hates it! We hates it ceaselessly!” one Steam consumer wrote in an appropriately in-character evaluate—Daedalic Leisure has apologized for the sorry state of The Lord of the Rings: Gollum and says it should proceed engaged on the game to make sure that it meets “its fullest potential.”

The extremely unfavorable response to Gollum caught me a bit bit without warning. I performed a pre-release construct of the game just a few months earlier than it got here out, and located that it was really higher than I might anticipated. (Acknowledging, for the report, that my expectations had been fairly low.) It appeared fairly sufficient and doubtlessly intelligent, the form of factor that may price a mid-60s (or perhaps even a shock 70!) at PC Gamer—which, within the context of our scoring system, isn’t horrible.

That is really right where we landed. “For all its many flaws,” we mentioned in our 64% evaluate, Gollum “is an oft-beautiful and oddly endearing journey.” Alas, we had been within the minority on this one. The Metacritic combination rating presently sits at a dismal 43% and it holds a “principally unfavorable” throughout a paltry 113 consumer evaluations on Steam. On social media, individuals are virtually lining as much as declare it the worst game of the 12 months, despite the fact that it is solely Might.

There is not any query that Gollum is one thing of a large number. Even in case you dig the underlying concept of enjoying a weak, vicious hobbit twisted by the evil of the One Ring, the game is plagued with bugs and efficiency points, “together with frequent crashes and progression-breaking bugs forcing rolling again to earlier saves or worse,” as we famous in our evaluate. 

The state of affairs is dangerous sufficient that Daedalic Leisure has now formally apologized for the state of the game.

“We want to sincerely apologize for the underwhelming expertise lots of you could have had with The Lord of the Rings: Gollum upon its launch,” the studio mentioned in a message posted to Twitter. “We acknowledge and deeply remorse that the game didn’t meet the expectations we set for ourselves or for our devoted neighborhood. Please settle for our honest apologies for any disappointment this will likely have brought about.”

Daedalic additionally mentioned that it’s “working diligently to handle the bugs and technical points” within the game, and that it’s “dedicated to offering you with the patches that can assist you to benefit from the game to its fullest potential.” That after all opens the door to the apparent query: What’s Gollum’s “fullest potential?”

Bugs could be fastened and stability improved, however the underlying game is what it’s, and the negativity of the preliminary response, and people brutal evaluate scores, aren’t going to alter.

(Picture credit score: Daedalic Leisure)

Predictably, the response to the apology can be ugly, with many accusing Daedalic of both incompetence—pushing Gollum out the door with out realizing what a state it was in—or corruption—realizing what a state it was in and pushing it out the door anyway. Just a few take a extra nuanced method to the state of affairs, however there are clearly limits to how a lot persistence stays.

“Launch the patch,” faceless wrote in response to the apology on Steam. “Enhance the graphics. Enhance the musical accompaniment. Enhance the gameplay. Add extra game mechanics. Create an improved customization. Every little thing is in your arms. I am a fan of the Lord of the Rings sequence. However you screwed up exhausting.”

A few of that over-the-top backlash in opposition to Gollum could also be hyperbolic or a heat-of-the-moment response, however the frustration with botched game launches is comprehensible. Over the past two months alone, publishers have apologized for the half-baked states of big-time video games together with The Final of Us Half 1, Redfall, and Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.