Embracer takes over Middle-earth, will expand Tolkien's legacy

Embracer Group now owns the rights to Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit video games, movies, adaptations, and more, directly synergizing with other teams.

Published Aug 22, 2022 1:35 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Sep 13 2022 6:02 PM CDT
1 minute & 39 seconds read time

Embracer Group has acquired Middle-earth Enterprises and now has free reign to make video games based on Tolkien's legendary Lord of the Rings saga.

Embracer takes over Middle-earth, will expand Tolkien's legacy 1 | TweakTown.com

Embracer is taking over the world of gaming and the world of Middle-earth. The decentralized giant has now purchased some of the powerful IP rights in the history of entertainment with the acquisition of Lord of the Rings content rights-holders.

Middle-earth Enterprises, a division of the Saul Zaentz company, can do a lot of things with Tolkien's universe including video game adaptations, films, board games, theme parks, merch, and even stage plays. They don't, however, own the rights to Tolkien's literary works. Embracer does not own the Lord of the Rings publishing rights--only the rights for certain adaptations.

Embracer takes over Middle-earth, will expand Tolkien's legacy 2 | TweakTown.com

"Middle-earth Enterprises is not the Tolkien estate. The Tolkien estate controls the book publication rights for the Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit, and the other Tolkien works," Saul Zaentz Company advisor Tom Magnani said in the Embracer call.

"The rights that Middle-earth Enterprises has include video games, board games, film rights, merchandising rights--all manner of products and services. We jointly control with the Tolkien estate to develop parks based on the works, and we also have the right to adapt The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit for stage productions, and while our current rights are limited to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, we do have matching rights with respect to Tolkien's other works that relate to Middle-earth including The Simarillion and Unfinished Tales."

Embracer takes over Middle-earth, will expand Tolkien's legacy 3 | TweakTown.com

Middle-earth Enterprises will join a new segment in Embracer Group called Freemode. Middle-earth Enterprises will remain independently run and operated while jointly coordinating and strategizing new projects.

Embracer management was careful to say that it will still license Tolkien's universe out to other partners, including EA, who is making a Lord of the Rings mobile game. Embracer is also in a unique position to deliver new Lord of the Rings productions as Plaion (formerly Koch Media) distributes films in Europe, and the company also owns Asmodee who has made board and card games based on the Lord of the Rings franchise for many years.

"The acquisition of the rights is in line with Embracer's IP-driver transmedia strategy. The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are among the world's most popular entertainment franchises and birthed the fantasy genre."

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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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