Lord of the Rings and Hobbit rights picked up by Embracer while buying games

Lord of the Rings and Hobbit rights picked up by Embracer while buying games

Embracer Group today embarked on a wave of acquisitions including Limited Run Games, Tripwire Interactive and the IP rights to Lord of the Rings and the hobbit. There are a total of five acquisitions today, in addition to a sixth undisclosed deal for a company in the PC and console gaming space.

The Lord of the Rings and hobbit rights mean Embracer now controls movies, video games, board games, merchandising, stage productions, and even theme park rights to the Tolkien fantasy franchises. This includes the very large and expensive version of Amazon Lord of the Rings which debuts on Prime Video on September 2. Embracer notes that it could even explore “additional films based on iconic characters such as Gandalf, Aragorn, Gollum, Galadriel, Eowyn, and other characters from JRR Tolkien’s literary works.”

Embracer is a huge publishing group that has recently acquired big names such as Tomb Raider, Deus Exand Thiefand already operates more than 100 studios, including border areas developer Gearbox, Saber Interactive and THQ Nordic. Saudi Arabia recently bought a $1 billion stake in Embracer, about 8 percent of the company’s stock.

Can we eventually see a Gandalf movie?
Image: Tolkien Enterprises, Inc. / New Line Cinema Corporation

Embracer’s addition of Limited Run Games opens the door to more physical games in its studios and games, as Limited Run is known for collector’s editions and it often allows smaller developers to make physical copies of their games. Tripwire is known for kill floor, man eaterand Upcoming storm. The massive publishing group also announced today the acquisition of its home karaoke system Singtrix and Cracks developer Tuxedo Labs.

Quietly building its giant publishing group, Embracer also owns the comic and entertainment brand Dark Horse. “I am delighted to welcome an amazing group of entrepreneur-led companies to the Embracer family and expand our portfolio to include some truly remarkable IPs and franchises, including The Lord of the Rings,” said Embracer Co-Founder and CEO Lars Wingefors in a statement. “It is encouraging that our group has become a natural and preferred buyer of creative, growing and profitable businesses within Gaming and Entertainment.”

The five acquisitions announced today are about $577 million in total initial costs, and there’s even a sixth undisclosed purchase that Embracer isn’t revealing yet. “Embracer has entered into an agreement to acquire another PC/console gaming company that will not be disclosed today for commercial reasons,” explains a financial filing. “The purchase price for this undisclosed acquisition is in the range of one of the third or fourth largest of the transactions.”

Embracer’s shopping spree comes months after the deal to acquire Square Enix’s three major western game studios, and amid massive takeovers in the game industry. Sony acquired Destiny developer Bungie for $3.6 billion, and Take-Two spent $12.7 billion Farm village maker Zynga. Microsoft is also in the midst of the massive acquisition of Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion.

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