Lego Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit games have been pulled from digital stores by Warner Bros. and since they haven't provided reasons as to why, the speculation ball got rolling, where licensing issues seem to be the most likely cause.
Of course, if you've already purchased any of the games, you can still play them as they're still listed, only without the purchase option. If you've missed out on purchasing them, or picking them up for free from the recent Humble Store freebie offer though, that's that.
It appears that many fans interpreted the move to give the Lego games away for free on Humble as a sign that we'll be seeing a new Lego Lord of the Rings game. Others thought that Traveller's Tales may have finally decided to deliver on their promise for The Hobbit's third DLC, The Battle of the Five Armies DLC.
Unfortunately, it seems that neither of the two interpretations are on the cards and instead, the Humble offer was your last chance to have a go at the game. Having launched in 2012 and 2014, respectively, Lego Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit weren't exactly fresh but the question still remains - why did Warner Bros. pull them.
Most rumours point at licensing issues, seeing as how both Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit used snippets of audio from the movies, rather than doing own voice lines. As you'd imagine, Hollywood licensing deals are pricey affairs and it wouldn't be surprising to find out that's been the reason for the pull.
Warner Bros. don't seem to be keen on sharing the reasons for the move, although it won't matter much to end users at this point.
For what it's worth, Lego Lord of the Rings seems to be the bigger waste of gaming real estate, primarily because it set the formula for both games. Perhaps more importantly though, it hasn't skimped on the essential movie material like The Hobbit did, but again, it doesn't seem like it will matter anymore.