The Morning After: Amazon cancels its 'Lord of the Rings' MMORPG

Another Amazon game bites the dust.

Hannah Peters via Getty Images

Amazon told Bloomberg that it has canned its Lord of the Rings, developed with the help of China's Leyou, after being "unable to secure terms" to continue its development. However, sources claim that Tencent's recent acquisition of Leyou led to a contract dispute that ultimately killed the project.

Amazon Game Studios is struggling to get games out there and keep them on sale. It canceled Breakaway in 2018 after lack of progress, and it dropped Crucible after poor feedback during testing. Another MMO, New World, has faced multiple delays and isn't expected to launch until the end of August. While Amazon remains committed to its Game Studios efforts — its incoming CEO has stated his support — they clearly haven't delivered results quickly.

If it’s the Lord of the Rings part you’re more upset about missing out on, don’t worry — there’s still Amazon’s Prime TV series incoming. Two seasons of it.

— Mat Smith

Two die in Tesla crash with no one at the wheel

The incident raises questions about Tesla's Autopilot claims.

The Morning After

Two men have died after a 2019 Model S collided with a tree north of Houston, with no one in the driver's seat. One was in the front passenger seat, police officer Mark Herman told the media, while the other was in the back.

If the Model S was unmanned, the occupants might have misunderstood Autopilot, Full Self-Driving (FSD) or both. Concerns persist that some customers overestimate the tech, assuming they can take their hands off the steering wheel or even leave the driver's seat entirely. However, even the FSD beta doesn't offer complete autonomy, and you have to be ready to take control at any given moment — the car will ask you to grab the wheel if you leave it alone for long enough.

The large lithium batteries of EVs like the Model S present a different kind of fire to deal with, too. It apparently took first responders about four hours to put out the Model S fire, and the team even contacted Tesla for help. Continue reading.

Audi unveils its A6 e-tron concept

The pre-production EV is among the first built on a new PPE platform.

The Morning After

At Auto Shanghai 2021 expo, which kicks off this week, Audi offered a peek at its new A6 e-tron, a luxury sedan with EV bones. It follows the hybrid A6 that we saw back in 2011. According to the company, the A6 EV could offer driving ranges up to 700 KM (434 miles) and hit 100KMPH (62MPH) from a standstill in less than four seconds. But for now, there are no prices or launch windows being announced. Continue reading.

Nintendo sues Bowser for violating copyright with Switch hacks

No, not that Bowser.

The Morning After

Nintendo has sued Gary Bowser, a leader of the Switch hacking group Team Xecuter, for allegedly violating copyright by making and selling hacks. Law enforcement had already arrested Bowser in the fall, but the company hoped the suit would punish the leader for both the copyright violation and two counts of trafficking.

A lot of the lawsuit focuses on Bowser reportedly running an "international pirate ring," distributing hacking tools SX Core, SX Lite and SX Pro for use with Nintendo’s Switch. While some critics have argued that bootlegs are helpful for preserving games, Team Xecuter has been selling the SX suite for profit, which probably ruin that defense in court. Continue reading.

New York caps the cost of broadband for low-income families

Users will pay $15 for 25 Mbps internet and $20 for broadband over 200 Mbps.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill requiring all internet service providers to offer $15 per month broadband for low-income users, in a state where the average monthly bill is $50. Service providers must provide at least 25 Mbps download speeds or their current low-income internet speeds if those are greater. Continue reading.

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