Swedish group Embracer appears to be making an effort to live up to its name, with a new round of major acquisitions announced today. The largest announced is the full 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 JRR Tolkien, as well as additional properties as part of Tolkien’s Middle-earth. The acquired rights extend to motion pictures, video games, board games, merchandising, theme parks and stage productions related to intellectual property.
“I’m really happy to have The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, one of the world’s most epic fantasy franchises, joins the Embracer family, opening up more transmedia opportunities, including synergies within our global group. I’m excited to see what the future holds for this IP with Freemode and Asmodee at the start of the group. Going forward, we also look forward to collaborating with existing and new external licensees from our increasingly robust IP portfolio,” said Embracer Group Founder and CEO Lars Wingefors.
As part of this announcement, Embracer also made public that they will now have an eleventh operating group called Embracer Freemode led by CEO Lee Guinchard, of which the aforementioned rights to Tolkien’s work will be a part. 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 indicated what, if any, repercussions or changes there will be in the future. the Lord of the Rings media currently in development, including Amazon The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power streaming TV series and Daedalic Entertainment The Lord of the Rings: Gollum Game.
Embracer also announced the acquisition of Limited Run Games, Singtrix, Tripwire Interactive and Tuxedo Labs. These acquisitions include the slaughter area and man eater games as well as Tuxedo Labs’ Tear down. This comes after Embracer’s major acquisition of Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal and Square Enix Montreal earlier this year. A sixth, as-yet-unnamed studio in the PC/Console gaming space has also been acquired according to a press release from Embracer, but the name and details have yet to be disclosed. It is said to be the third or fourth largest of transactions.