You think TwisTer’s got scoops? Hah! Here’s the latest on why Sierra cancelled Middle Earth. Apparently they had problems with some of these rules…

The ugly truth is that the design team had some radical ideas that were not in line with management’s vision of the game. The following excerpts from the design document explain some of these features, and as you can see, they were just too risky to implement.

Permanent Death

“…upon the death of a player character a customer support representative will go to the home of the player and kill them. This rule insures that players will be more careful during gameplay, and the game experience will be far more realistic.”

Character Psychology

“…Due to the intensely realistic gameplay of Middle-earth, players will be assigned a psychiatrist for psychoanalysis at the end of each gaming session. This will insure that players will be able to function normally in society after such an intense virtual experience.”

Character Binding

“…upon entering the game newbies will be tied up and beaten into submission by veteran players frustrated by the permanent death rules. Eventually they will be released but only after paying their first 3 months of subscription fees.”

Non-spell casting humans

“…The design team recognizes that magic IS NOT REAL, and therefore will not be represented in the game. Players will be able to perform card tricks and slight of hand, light off stink bombs, etc. but under no circumstances will we endorse any of that pansy spell casting hoo hoo in the game.”

Realistic hobbit strength

“…Hobbits are a bunch of wimps and we know it. Hobbits in the game will hardly be worth playing due to their diminutive size, weakness, and lazy attitude, but we will put them in anyway because they are in the books. They should be easy to kill and that will be good for a laugh.”

Elf population limitations

“…elves breed like rabbits and we just can’t have that. Everybody wants to be an elf because they are good looking and live forever. To counteract this we intend to implement a system of involuntary sterilization to all elven characters in their first month of play.”

For more info, and pictures of the ME dev team being killed, check out the official Middle Earth is Dead, Thanks for All The Fish website.