A piece of DLC for the £54.99/$59.99 version of The Lord of the Rings: Gollum drew some ire this past weekend as it appears to lock Elven voice acting behind a paywall. The Precious Edition bundles in a "Sindarin VO" bonus with the base game along with three other DLC packs, and a press release says it adds "additional voice-acting in the Elvish tongue of Sindarin, done by professionals and made for Middle-earth die-hard fans".
Other outlets picked this description up, suggesting this is the only way to hear Elves speak their native language of Sindarin in the game. However, this isn't the case. A statement provided to Push Square from Daedalic Entertainment suggests the optional DLC isn't quite as egregious.
The developer told us that even if you own just the base game, Elves will still speak in Sindarin when necessary. This DLC is designed to add extra flavour and atmosphere to the more random NPCs you encounter as you work your way through the game. "Sindarin VO expansion adds additional Sindarin lines to some of the characters in the background," a representative explained. "While traversing through Mirkwood and other parts of middleearth Gollum will be able to listen to various dialogues between Elves. These dialogues add to the atmosphere and worldbuilding."
A statement continues: "Daedalic went the extra mile here and hired professional voice actors, who were trained in Sindarin by our lore experts. It is a DLC for the real Tolkien devotees who want to immerse themselves even more into the world of Middle-Earth."
For an extra £5/$10, the Precious Edition includes the Sindarin VO pack along with an additional lore compendium, an art exhibition, and the soundtrack. The Lord of the Rings: Gollum releases for PS5, PS4 on 25th May 2023.