Shadow of War director says making everyone happy is "impossible"
Truer words have never been spoken.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War is just days away from release, and reviews on the game are already out and mostly positive (Metascores on all platforms are in the 80s). However, that doesn't mean that there hasn't been some hesitation on the part of fans in regards to specific choices that Monolith has made. For instance, Shelob the Spider appears in the game as a human woman, something which was never done in the films or books.
In speaking with Gamespot, Shadow of War's game director, Michael de Plater talked at length about the balance in figuring out the line between remaining faithful to the source material while also making a fun game. While he didn't explicitly call out the Shelob choice, de Plater referenced "differences of interpretation" amongst both fans and developers.
"Yeah, it's really hard because I genuinely can't imagine anything we could come up with--even if you set it as your goal--[that would] make everybody happy; I think it would be impossible. Because there are just differences of interpretation, and people are emotionally attached to different things. And people really care, including us, about these universes and IPs that they're attached to. We just have to commit to making the best game we can within the context of our interpretation of the lore. It's more important that a lot of people really love it, [rather] than [ensuring] that everybody thinks it's okay."
There's often a misconception when we read and talk about games that there's this notion about doing things "for the fans" as if the fans all think in the exact same way. It's an inaccurate oversimplification nine times out of ten since people rarely ever see eye to eye on every aspect of a complex narrative like Lord of the Rings.
So when de Plater previously referenced Shelob being the daughter of an evil primordial spirit who can take the form of whatever they want, Monolith isn't technically wrong about presenting her as a human, even if it does look weird at first.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War releases next week on October 10th, 2017 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.