Embracer Group owns a countless number of development studios, franchises and IPs, including THQ Nordic, Saber Interactive, Crystal Dynamics, Eidos, and many more, and today it revealed the acquisition of Middle-earth Enterprises from The Saul Zaentz Company.
This means that Embracer Group now owns the IP rights to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth works, such as The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, but not the literary property as this remains with the Tolkien Estate. Essentially, Embracer can now create video games, films, theme parks, stage shows and merchandise for most of Tolkien’s work.
Embracer Group’s plans for Lord of the Rings
Embracer did offer a little bit of information on what it plans to do with the IP in the future, although it mainly hinted at standalone movies for characters like “Gandalf, Aragorn, Gollum, Galadriel, and Eowyn” rather than the video games.
Key upcoming works set in Middle-earth, in which Middle-earth Enterprises has financial interests, include the much-heralded Amazon series The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power which will premiere on September 2, 2022, set thousands of years before The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings; the animated movie The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim (Warner Bros), set for release in 2024, and the mobile game The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth (Electronic Arts).
Other opportunities include exploring additional movies based on iconic characters such as Gandalf, Aragorn, Gollum, Galadriel, Eowyn and other characters from the literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien, and continue to provide new opportunities for fans to explore this fictive world through merchandising and other experiences.
Outside of this deal, Tripwire Interactive (Killing Floor), Tuxedo Labs (Teardown), Singtrix (Guitar Hero Tech), and Limited Run Games (physical media) also got acquired, for a combined purchase price of roughly £654 million. “The parties have agreed not to disclose specific terms of the transaction due to commercial reasons".
There’s also another studio in the "PC/console gaming space” that can’t be disclosed because of "commercial reasons", although Embracer did mention that it’s in “the range of being among either third or fourth largest of the Transactions".
is the other video game project that’s in development and due to release by the end of the year, although its development is helmed by rival publisher NACON.
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