Embracer group buys rights to Lord of the Rings, Limited Run games and many more.

FAST6191

Techromancer
OP
Editorial Team
Joined
Nov 21, 2005
Messages
36,798
Trophies
3
XP
28,281
Country
United Kingdom
The Embracer group is perhaps not as well known as mega conglomerates like EA, Ubisoft, Square Enix, Sony and Microsoft but over the last few years it has been steadily acquiring rights to all manner of game companies, entertainment properties (late last year they also got Dark Horse comics) and other such feeder industries. They are however massive now with some very big names and rights https://gbatemp.net/threads/square-...ips-to-embracer-group-for-300-million.611677/

Today they announced they had acquired the rights to the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit non book content (Harper Collins has that) by purchase of "Middle-earth Enterprises" which you might have known by its previous name of Tolkien enterprises, from its current owner the Saul Zaentz Company who had put them up for sale in February this year https://variety.com/2022/film/news/lord-of-the-rings-hobbit-tolkien-zaentz-rights-sale-1235176036/ .
Press release which contains some more info than is quoted here
https://embracer.com/release/embrac...d-the-hobbit-literary-works-by-j-r-r-tolkien/
No price has been given and with the rest of the acquisitions here also being not disclosed then teasing out a price from investor reports or upcoming meetings might be easier said than done.

embracer group press release said:
Embracer Group AB (”Embracer”), through its wholly owned subsidiary Freemode, has entered into an agreement to acquire Middle-earth Enterprises, a division of The Saul Zaentz Company, which owns a vast intellectual property catalogue and worldwide rights to motion pictures, video games, board games, merchandising, theme parks and stage productions relating to the iconic fantasy literary works The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, as well as matching rights in other Middle-earth-related literary works authorized by the Tolkien Estate and HarperCollins, which have yet to be explored.

The rights to Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit are also of interest at present with Amazon's upcoming (and much maligned by the community in trailers and pre release hype) Rings of Power that is contractually obliged to stick to the contents of Silmarillion (a compendium of history of the world rather than a generally cohesive story) and not what is in the other books. A concept normally seen more in either public domain works where only the concepts seen in works in the public domain are allowed, or in some cases comic films where rights to different franchises might be split between companies where the source comics have crossovers all the time (Scarlet witch and Quicksilver popularised in the Avengers films are actually originally xmen, sometimes children of series big antagonist Magneto for instance, not the avengers films would make any reference there). In games you might have also seen it in how Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor does not mention Lord of the Rings (said games are made by Monolith Productions who are owned by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment who are themselves presently merging with Discovery), and it is unknown what this will do to any rereleases or sequels for those games. Warner Brothers also variously has interests in the lego themed lord of the rings and hobbit titles, war in the north and several more.
The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is entirely separate company and presumably a work in progress, though acquisitions like this have stopped things in the final hour before, especially if quality standards have not been met. Lord of the Rings Online is presently handled by an independent company called Daybreak Game Company. Most of the PS2-gamecube era games based on the films were under EA's banner and rights were complicated then. Either way to a casual scan then despite the Embracer group's considerable catalogue of devs then none have particular previous ties to any middle earth computer game properties (much less any in recent decades), though Asmodee (who they bought in late 2021) have some experience with board games and card games based in the world.

further excerpt from press release said:
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).
.
Some of those are probably too far along to break up but after that then... could be interesting as we have all seen acquisitions like this before result in things going in house (see EA with Star Wars games, or indeed what Microsoft's own buying sprees are potentially going to yield). As public domain was mentioned then The Hobbit was published in 1937, while The Lord of the Rings was 1954. 1926 was this year for US public domain ( https://gbatemp.net/threads/new-in-the-public-domain-for-2022.605453/ ) which means assuming current expiry dates are held then about 10 years until you can freely make your own Hobbit game if you wanted, rather more for Lord of the Rings and as 1977 was the Silmarillion then yeah.

Other acquisitions announced today include Tripwire interactive
https://embracer.com/release/embracer-group-enters-into-agreement-to-acquire-tripwire-interactive/
press release said:
Tripwire Interactive from its four current owners. Tripwire Interactive is well-known for the Killing Floor and Rising Storm series and their recent best-seller Maneater
https://gbatemp.net/review/man-eater.1402/
https://gbatemp.net/review/killing-floor-2.542/

Tuxedo labs
https://embracer.com/release/embracer-group-acquires-tuxedo-labs/
Teardown is their only game to date but it is fairly highly regarded.


Singtrix
https://embracer.com/release/embracer-group-enters-into-an-agreement-to-acquire-singtrix/
Tech company but tech behind some of Guitar hero and vocal processing (likely to be important in the future, if nothing else as a patent war chest).

Limited run games.
They are quite famous for making physical versions of otherwise download only titles in a limited run, though more recently have also done things like Doom Eternal for the Switch https://www.nintendolife.com/news/2...nd-ultimate-physical-switch-editions-revealed
brought back Scott Pilgrim which was previously in rights hell, some physical "mini console" type things https://gbatemp.net/threads/sega-astro-city-mini-released-by-limited-run-games.585385/
They have previously also held their own E3 presentations https://gbatemp.net/threads/limited-run-games-e3-presentation.507077/ .

https://embracer.com/release/embracer-group-enters-into-an-agreement-to-acquire-limited-run-games/

Another group was announced, their 11th, in this case Embracer Freemode that is also set to house the Lord of the Rings stuff above it seems.
https://embracer.com/release/embracer-group-announces-the-11th-operating-group-embracer-freemode/
press release said:
Freemode is headquartered in Karlstad, Sweden with territory offices in Livermore, California, London, UK, and Hong Kong.

Freemode`s founding companies are existing Embracer owned businesses that previously reported directly to our group CEO & HQ in Karlstad, Sweden.

Freemode operates 12 Companies in 6 Countries and with a total of 509 Employees.

Founding Freemode Operating Group companies include Embracer companies: Tatsujin (Japan), Game Outlet Europe (Sweden), Clear River Games (Sweden), Quantic Lab (Romania), Bitwave Games (Sweden), Gioteck (United Kingdom), C77 Entertainment (USA) and Grimfrost (Sweden).
About Bitwave Games (Sweden)

Founded originally as Retroid Interactive in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 2013, Bitwave Games is a developer and publisher of polished, high-quality, accessible, and fun video games mixing the best of the past, present, and future anyone can enjoy.

About Tatsujin (Japan)

A Japanese studio led by veteran Masahiro Yuge. He was one of the original founders of the iconic arcade games studio Toaplan known for their shoot ‘em up games. Tatsujin continues the heritage and manages the Toaplan catalogue of classic games such as Truxton, Snow Bros, Flying Shark and Zero Wing known for the line “All your base are belong to us”.

About Clear River Games (Sweden)

Founded in 2019, Clear River Games is a Swedish publisher in Karlstad next to “Klarälven – i.e. Clear River”. Clear River Games’ primary focus is publishing high-quality classic game franchises, modern retro and pixel art games and indie games that inspire gamers and bring back great memories of the past or discover new great games. CRG’s vision is to bring the joy of experiencing vintage retro games and revived classic game franchises to players worldwide.

About Game Outlet Europe (GOE) Distribution (Sweden)

Founded in early 2000, that pioneered the Swedish gaming industry in the early 1990s., GOE Distribution is an independent distributor of video games and gaming accessories. GOE distributes a wide assortment of back catalogue and video games from all the smallest to major publishers. GOE is also the official distributor for 8bitdo and Retro-bit accessories and cartridge revivals. Based in Karlstad, Sweden, GOE is doing business globally with more than 40 different countries, including indie stores, big box stores, Amazon global etc.

About Gioteck (United Kingdom)

Established in 2008 Gioteck is one of the Europe`s leading gaming accessories brands. Designed and engineered in the UK. Gioteck accessories offer gaming and audio enthusiasts the latest and most innovative peripherals to improve their overall immersive experience. Gioteck’s ethos is to design product with “form follows function” in mind. Whilst our look and feel are extremely important to us, the fundamental design on how the product is used, played with and lasts is priority.

About Quantic Lab (Romania)

Established in 2006, Quantic Lab is a highly experienced outsourcing company specialized in all-platform high-quality testing, UX and localization solutions. With over fifteen years of experience, we are one of the leading European outsourcing companies, contributing through our outstanding activity to the release of thousands of projects worldwide (including games, business applications and more). Quantic Lab takes great pride in its successful long-term partnerships based on integrity and trust.

About Grimfrost (Sweden)

Grimfrost is a Swedish company founded in 2014 with the goal of sharing our heritage and our modern-day lifestyle with the rest of the world. We are dedicated to making and selling the highest quality Viking reproductions on the market, ranging from simple pendants to unique high-end products not found elsewhere. In addition to historical items, we also offer contemporary products that have been inspired by and interpreted from Viking Age culture.

About C77 Entertainment (USA)

C77 is led by Mattias Kylén and Kenny Magnusson; two Swedes with a long history in the game industry. Together they’ve worked on several award-winning AAA titles, including leadership roles on franchise development teams such as Halo, Battlefield, and Mercenaries. Located in Seattle, our team consists of passionate developers with deep experience in AAA game development and VFX.
An odd choice for some of those companies but does a hardware maker, a bunch of classic games publishers and something that might well manage distribution and QA (all more than just some financial arrangement) mean some kind of mini consoles (limited run games noted above also has history here) or at least a massive push to explore the now extensive back catalogue that Embracer group has?
 

subcon959

@!#?@!
Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2008
Messages
5,819
Trophies
4
XP
10,008
Country
United Kingdom
What a crazy and eclectic spending spree. I'll reserve judgement until something actually comes of it, but I'm generally not a fan of these mega-corps hoovering everything up and just sitting on it.
 

FAST6191

Techromancer
OP
Editorial Team
Joined
Nov 21, 2005
Messages
36,798
Trophies
3
XP
28,281
Country
United Kingdom
What a crazy and eclectic spending spree. I'll reserve judgement until something actually comes of it, but I'm generally not a fan of these mega-corps hoovering everything up and just sitting on it.
Sometimes sitting on it would be preferable to some of the things we see made.

That said while "opening up more transmedia opportunities including synergies across our global group" "and continue to provide new opportunities for fans to explore this fictive world through merchandising and other experiences." "The acquisition of the rights is in line with Embracer’s IP-driven transmedia strategy." (also in the LotR press release) does not inspire too much confidence and their treatment of existing things they own has been mixed at best (granted trying to please me with MX vs ATV is going to be difficult, especially if you have to please the more simulation heavy aspects of the fanbase as well, what little else we have seen at present*) I can't imagine they have the funds to let things rot (though I am also not sure who the silent partners are providing a lot of this cash). That is also business wonk talk rather than muh current year talk so odds of getting something decent out of it sit marginally higher, even if far from good.

*granted it was only 2019 THQ Nordic became Embracer and started on things in earnest (THQ not being the THQ of days gone by but a name and "remaining assets" purchase in 2014 following their bankruptcy in 2012/2013 smooshed onto Nordic games, who themselves were on a bit of a buying spree). Depending upon game dev timeframes in the modern world we might be starting to see fruit shortly. Wikipedia I know but a reasonably coherent couple of lists, even if not many specific games in said lists. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_acquisitions_by_THQ_Nordic https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mergers_and_acquisitions_by_Embracer_Group

Here is hoping they are slow playing a monster.
 

Site & Scene News

Popular threads in this forum

General chit-chat
Help Users
  • Xdqwerty @ Xdqwerty:
    Hijo de perra
  • ZeroT21 @ ZeroT21:
    french is really weird honestly, i would not know if i got complimented or cursed in french
  • K3Nv2 @ K3Nv2:
    Que
  • K3Nv2 @ K3Nv2:
    The french only speak sex
    +2
  • AncientBoi @ AncientBoi:
    Enchiladas
  • Xdqwerty @ Xdqwerty:
    Arepas
  • ZeroT21 @ ZeroT21:
    i'm only fluent in english and dutch, sadly the rest is a mixed bag
  • Xdqwerty @ Xdqwerty:
    My english is kinda broken
  • K3Nv2 @ K3Nv2:
    The Dutch speak freaky deeky
  • DinohScene @ DinohScene:
    dutch sounds like simlish
  • ZeroT21 @ ZeroT21:
    is gibberish german
  • AncientBoi @ AncientBoi:
    I'm Very Affluent in Gay Sx :D
  • K3Nv2 @ K3Nv2:
    @AncientBoi, you speak creepy deeky gay sex
    +1
  • AncientBoi @ AncientBoi:
    that's VERY Creepy Deeky Gay SX to you :creep:
  • AncientBoi @ AncientBoi:
    Stop tooting My horn Zero :tpi::evil::D
  • K3Nv2 @ K3Nv2:
    A horn we don't want to blow
    +1
  • K3Nv2 @ K3Nv2:
    mmm tears
  • AncientBoi @ AncientBoi:
    🖕 I saw that +1 xdqwerty :tpi::rofl2:
  • K3Nv2 @ K3Nv2:
    He's a child why would you want him to dislike it :angry:
    +1
  • AncientBoi @ AncientBoi:
    Cause it's the internet. I can say what I want. Just like YOU do. ☹️
  • K3Nv2 @ K3Nv2:
    I don't expect kids to like the adult stuff I say on the internet
    K3Nv2 @ K3Nv2: I don't expect kids to like the adult stuff I say on the internet