Warner Bros has sent a cease-and-desist letter to the developers of a Lord of the Rings-themed Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim modification entitled the Middle-Earth Roleplaying Project (MERP).

The mod is using the Skyrim engine to create a game that uses quests, characters and locations from the Lord of the Rings books and films, which the entertainment firm is not particularly happy about.

With all the effort put in already, the team behind MERP is not ready to give up their mission easily and has created a petition entitled 'Save MERP from corporate greed!'. It is asking fans to call on Warner Bros to let the developers go ahead with the title.

"As of 2012 the team ported the mod to the newest Elder Scrolls game from its predecessor, Oblivion. Since the move the team has built up a huge following due to its quality and ambition," the petition said.

"This rise in popularity has also drawn the eyes of Warner Bros, who currently hold the rights to The Lord of the Rings in gaming, who then issued the MERP team a cease-and-desist letter.

"We now need you, our fans and other gamers, to help make Warner regret sending that letter by showing them just how many people are behind this mod."

The problem arose because MERP uses copyrighted content that Warner Bros has ownership of, in particular, the main quest entitled Ringbearer.

Modder Marfaer told PC Gamer that Warner Bros wanted to come to some kind of understanding at first and the developers offered to remove the offending quest. The firm refused the offer and issued a cease-and-desist with no room to negotiate.

Warner Bros want all the Lord of the Rings content to be removed, but Maegfaer has said this is not an option, as if all the names are changed and stories altered, the title would not resemble a game set in Middle-Earth at all.ADNFCR-1220-ID-801443964-ADNFCR
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