The Embracer Group has today announced the acquisition of the rights to produce videogames based on the literary works of J.R.R Tolkien. These include The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. The company has done so by acquiring Middle-earth enterprises. This company owns worldwide rights to motion pictures, videogames, board games, merchandising, theme parks and stage productions relating to the iconic fantasy literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien.
Previous The Lord of the Rings videogames were licensed from Middle-earth enterprises. This acquisition now means that The Embracer Group has full access to the back catalogue of J.R.R. Tolkien properties to create content as they wish. Furthermore, they will be able to grant licenses for other mediums, such as board games (currently owned by Asmodee) and live-action video, such as Amazon’s upcoming The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power.
The Embracer Group need not renegotiate any of these licenses. They would remain intact following the acquisition, as is stated in the company’s official communication:
“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).”
The deal essentially includes everything except the books themselves. HarperCollins retains the rights to the novels. However, this deal still grants The Embracer Group a huge amount of power. And thus, significant options regarding future videogames based upon the franchises:
“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.”
The Embracer Group has also announced other significant acquisitions today. These include physical copy specialists Limited Run Games, Tripwire Interactive (Killing Floor, Chivalry), Tuxedo Labs (Teardown) and Japanese studio Tatsujin.
What will come of the acquisition is currently anyone’s guess. Will The Embracer Group be able to create a new game to rival the best The Lord of the Rings games? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!