Embracer Group acquires Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit literary IP rights

Embracer Group is fully diving into the world of J.R.R. Tolkien for video games, movies, and beyond.


Embracer Group has been busy on this Wednesday evening. The publisher has made a series of acquisitions, including the IP rights to some of late author J.R.R. Tolkien's most recognizable works. On Wednesday, Embracer announced it had struck a deal with the Tolkien Estate and HarperCollins for The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and the rights to other Middle-earth based literary works.

"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," Embracer Group CEO Lars Wigefors said via press release. "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."

Dueling in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is among the many games based on Tolkien properties currently on the market.
Source: Steam

The most eye-opening part of this story may be the timing, as it comes days after Private Division announced it was collaborating with Weta Workshop to produce an untitled video game based on The Lord of the Rings. Take-Two Interactive previously stated that it was hopeful to have the game ready for the 2024 fiscal year. Tolkien stories have bounced around the video game landscape over the years. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Middle-earth: Shadow of War were previously published by WB Games, while a game based on Gollum is currently in development from Daedalic Entertainment. The Lord of the Rings Online MMORPG from developer Turbine launched in 2007 and remains in service today.

Lest one believe that this acquisition is limited to video games, it certainly is not. The issued press release adds that Embracer Group will be looking into the prospect of additional movies set in the Tolkien universe, which could include spin-offs for characters like Gandalf, Aragorn, Gollum, Galadriel, Eowyn and others. Middle-earth Enterprises will be folded into a newly founded operative group called Embracer Freemode. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

It's a busy night in the gaming industry with Embracer Group at the center of it. The publisher has already made a lot of news this year following its acquisition of a bulk of Square Enix's Western developers. As promised, they aren't done yet. We're going to follow everything happening here at Shacknews, so stay tuned. We'll follow this story as it develops.

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Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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