Sweden’s Embracer Group appears to be making an effort to live up to their name, with yet another round of major acquisitions announced today. The biggest announced is the complete acquisition of Middle-Earth Enterprises, formerly a division of Saul Zaentz Company, which includes the rights to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, as well as additional properties in Tolkien’s Middle-Earth setting. The acquired rights extend to motion pictures, video games, board games, merchandising, theme parks and stage productions related to the IP.
“I am truly excited to have The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, one of the world’s most epic fantasy franchises join the Embracer family, opening up more transmedia opportunities including synergies across our global group. I am thrilled to see what lies in the future for this IP with Freemode and Asmodee as a start within the group. Going forward, we also look forward to collaborating with both existing and new external licensees of our increasingly stronger IP portfolio,” said Founder and CEO of Embracer Group, Lars Wingefors.
As part of this announcement, Embracer also made public that they will now have an eleventh operating group called Embracer Freemode lead by CEO Lee Guinchard, which the aforementioned rights to Tolkien’s work will be part of. Guinchard is known for his previous work in the video game and entertainment industry with Activision Blizzard, Take 2 and Aionic Labs.
Embracer has not stated what, if any, repercussions or changes there will be to upcoming Lord of the Rings media currently in development, including Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power streaming TV series and Daedalic Entertainment’s The Lord of the Rings: Gollum game.
Embracer has also announced their acquisition of Limited Run Games, Singtrix, Tripwire Interactive and Tuxedo Labs. These acquisitions include the Killing Floor and Maneater games as well as Tuxedo Labs’ Teardown. This comes after Embracer's major acquisition of Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal and Square Enix Montreal, earlier this year. A sixth, yet unnamed studio in the PC/Console gaming sphere has also been acquired according to a press release by Embracer, but the name and details have not been disclosed as of yet. It is said to be the third or fourth largest of the transactions.