Over the past year or so, one of the most popular online slots in the world has been the Microgaming machine The Lord of the Rings. Now, a number of different sites and message boards have been talking about the possibility of the game being removed from online casinos as soon as the end of May. There’s just one problem: nobody seems to be certain as to how the story started, or whether anyone actually has a real source for the rumor.
If you’re not familiar with the game, The Lord of the Rings was originally launched as “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” in 2010. That version of the game only lasted for about a year, after which it was taken out of service.
However, it was replaced by a revamped Lord of the Rings game in September of 2011. This new machine immediately became one of the most popular online slots in the industry. The new version of the game – which is still in service today – features cinematic backgrounds that were pulled directly from the films of the same name, a number of random and triggered bonus features, and even a large progressive jackpot that often is worth in excess of £1 million. With numerous video clips from the series and the popular “243 Ways” system of awarding all possible wins for one simple bet, The Lord of the Rings proved to be fun for fans of the films and slots aficionados alike.
Last week, at least one website began to report that The Lord of the Rings was being removed from online casinos. According to these reports, Microgaming had notified the casinos that used their software that the slot machine would be removed from service by May 31. No reason was given for the move, though some speculated that perhaps it was an issue of the cost of maintaining the Lord of the Rings license, which would have to be one of the more expensive licensing agreements in the online casino industry.
However, it’s still uncertain whether any of this is actually occurring. While the story has shown up on a number of message boards, they all refer to the same story, which itself quotes no sources. Microgaming has not yet responded to the rumors, leaving players even more uncertain about the future of the game.
One theory that has been proposed is that if the machine is really going away, it may only be a temporary absence in order to make way for yet another game based on the Lord of the Rings franchise. Certainly, the time would nearly be ripe to start working on a slot machine based on the Lord of the Rings prequel, The Hobbit. Two films based on this book – which centers around the adventures of Bilbo Baggins that took place before the Lord of the Rings trilogy, including showing how he originally found The One Ring – are set for release, the first of which will be coming this December. However, until official word comes from Microgaming themselves, it will be impossible to do more than speculate about the fate of the LOTR slots series.