Embracer Group is a giant Swedish gaming conglomerate that owns a wide variety of franchises under its belt. Still, their expansion hasn’t stopped there as Embracer Group has now acquired the rights to the famous fictional franchise, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, along with five more franchises in just one day. We’ve got lots in today’s news post so get ready!
Embracer Group Acquires Lord of The Rings and Five Other Companies!
Embracer Group is pretty acquisition hungry. The Swedish gaming giant has now bought out the rights to make films, merchandise, and theme parks based on the famous works of J.R.R Tolkien, The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings.
The deal comes as a surprise to many in the media and gaming industry. Variety stated that Embracer Group was on a venture to acquire a tech giant or a Hollywood studio earlier this year, which is directly related to the anticipated sale of the rights of the works of J.R.R Tolkien.
Amazon, which is about to debut streaming its widely anticipated The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power series, was also a prime candidate for that matter. The website stated that the rights were expected to be sold for at least 2 billion dollars.
Then there’s also a sixth secret acquisition that Embracer is holding us out on. Although the purchase hasn’t been undisclosed, it appears that Embracer has gotten its hands on the Middle Earth Enterprises, too, which is a subsidiary of the Saul Zaentz Company, the company behind the Lord of the Rings movies.
“Embracer has entered into agreement to acquire another company within PC / console gaming that, for commercial reasons, is not disclosed today,”
“The purchase price for this un-disclosed acquisition is in the range of being among either third or fourth largest of the transactions.”
It was in a financial note that Embracer Group revealed that the total cost of acquiring the six companies over a period of time is expected to be around 8.2 billion Swedish Krona which is roughly 788 million US dollars.
Even if we assume that the Middle Earth Enterprises accounts for a majority of the acquisition’s value, it’s still expected to be worth less than half of what the Lord of The Rings rights is expected to fetch.
Embracer Group now owns the worldwide rights to make board games, merchandise, theme parks, stage productions and even films related to the Lord of The Rings franchise and The Hobbit. But there are a few caveats and exemptions to consider when we discuss the long and short of these rights.
You might have noticed that the publishing rights to the books haven’t been included. They are intended to remain with the Tolkien estate and publisher HarperCollins, and to be honest. It should stay that way.
The licensing rights to the Middle Earth works of Tolkien, The Unfinished Tales of Numenor, The Silmarillion, and Middle Earth will stay in the hands of HarperCollins and the Tolkien estate. But Embracer Group claims that it now owns the matching rights to these works, which means it has a right to match any of the offers the owners of these publications get elsewhere.
TV rights have also been excluded from the acquisition deal. The rights to produce a TV series longer than eight episodes were not a part of the deal that Tolkien’s estate made with Saul Zaentz back in the 1970s. This means Middle Earth Enterprises is off the table.
Embracer Group still says that Middle Earth Enterprises still has a few financial interests in Rings of Power as well as Warner Bros. considering the upcoming animated film The War of Rohirrim and EA’s development of the mobile game Heroes of Middle Earth.
There are still some questions in regards to the extent of film rights that Embracer has acquired. Warner Bros., through its subsidiary, New Line Cinema, the studio which is behind the inception of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies, has held the rights for a couple of years now, but before the sale, the Saul Zaentz Company issued a statement that the rights were reverted back to them in 2021 considering the fact that Warner Bros., has not been actively developing any projects.
Apparently, Warner Bros. has something else on their mind, as it’s possible that The War of Rohirrim was greenlit just so Warner Bros. lawyers could file a dispute claim on the Saul Zaentz Company.
There’s a lot of information that’s behind closed doors. Wondering if there have been further developments in the legal battle with WarnerBros. that make the rights to the films look a little flimsy. This might have deterred many of the buyers on the list and decreased the asking price of the Middle Earth Enterprises.
But Embracer Group wouldn’t be all that concerned. It recently acquired a tabletop publisher by the name of Asmodee, which has been making loads of Lord of The Rings titles for years.
You might consider the gaming rights the biggest acquisition of this deal, and that might be the case. Embracer has been pretty much on a roll of buying out companies over the span of a few years.
It recently acquired DarkHorse Comics and Square Enix’s Western Game Studios along with the rights to the Tomb Raider Series, and it’s done it pretty discreetly. For 300 million dollars, it seems like a pretty sweet deal, and Square Enix must be pretty glad to get rid of its Western division.
It seems Embracer saw a desperate seller and swooped in at the right moment, buying out the rights to a beloved fantasy franchise. Embracer Group CEO and co-founder Lars Wingefors issued some statements in regards to this transaction:
“I am pleased to welcome an amazing group of entrepreneur-led companies to the Embracer family and to extend our portfolio with some truly remarkable IPs and franchises, including The Lord of the Rings,”
“It is encouraging that our group has become a natural and preferred buyer of creative, growing and profitable companies within Gaming and Entertainment.
Embracer Group is a pretty big publishing group as it recently acquired more franchises such as Thief, Deus Ex and previously mentioned, Tomb Raider franchise.
The company already operates a plethora of studios in the hundreds. These studios include game franchises you’ve heard of, such as the developer of Borderlands, the game franchise developed by Gearbox, THQ Nordic and Saber Interactive.
These healthy and wealthy acquisitions drew the interests of whole countries such as Saudi Arabia, as the country recently bought out a 1 billion dollar stake in Embracer Group which accounts for around 8 percent of shares in the company.
Embracer also went ahead and bought out Limited Run Games, which opened up the possibility of more physical games across its studios. Limited Run is well known for offering collector editions and enables smaller developers to develop physical copies of their titles.
The company, Tripwire is known for its titles such as Maneater, Rising Storm and Killing Floor, which was also bought out by the company. The publishing company announced yet another set of purchases, such as the acquisition of the home karaoke system, Stringix and the developer of Teardown, Tuxedo Labs, on this very day.
Embracer’s buying spree came months after its huge series of acquisitions across the gaming industry. In addition, Sony acquired Bungie for a total of 3.6 million dollars, while Microsoft is in the final proceedings of acquiring Activision Blizzard for 68.7 billion dollars which seems to be blocked by Sony’s own set of antics.
Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic Remake Handed Over to Embrace Group Subsidiary, Saber Interactive
Although Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Remake has been indefinitely delayed, Aspyr has been taken off of the development of the game, and a new developer will be granted the rights to work on the title.
The parent company for Aspyr, Saber Interactive, which is also owned by Embracer Group, will now take charge of the development of the game, and this information has now been confirmed by Embracer Group.
The company had been overseeing the development of Knights of the Old Republic Remake, but it will now be directly involved in the game development process. Saber Interactive has also been responsible for the development of its most recent title Evil Dead: The Game, which was received decently along with some mixed reviews.
Hopefully, development for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Remake will continue as planned, but even if the company speeds up the development process, it will be years before fans get to see anything in regards to the game or try it out for that matter.
And that’s pretty much it for today’s news. What do you think of this crazy acquisition? Let us know in the comments below. We upload daily on Appuals, so stay tuned for more. Till then, see you later and goodbye!