Embracer Group has announced another round of acquisitions, including the rights to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
In a series of press releases made this morning, the Swedish company announced that it had agreed to acquired a number of companies, including Middle-earth Enterprises.
The deal will give Embracer Group “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”.
The company also announced plans to acquire a number of video game companies including Limited Run Games, Singtrix, Tuxedo Labs and Tripwire Interactive.
It’s also launching its 11th operating group, which will be named Embracer Freemode, and will focus on “the retro, classic, and heritage gaming category, as well as investing in iconic gaming and entertainment properties.”
Under the Freemode name, the company has also acquired Tatsujin, Bitwave Games and Gioteck.
The full list of acquisitions confirmed today are as follows:
- Middle-earth Enterprises – owns the IP rights to The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit
- Limited Run Games – collector-focused physical video game publisher
- Tuxedo Labs – Swedish studio specialising in tech-driven games, first title was Teardown
- Tripwire Interactive – US studio best known for Maneater, Killing Floor and Rising Storm
- Singtrix – creates “vocal processing effect technology for karaoke, gaming and equipment”
- Tatsujin – Embracer’s first Japanese studio, founded by shoot ’em up studio Toaplan’s co-founder
- Bitwave Games – Swedish studio “with a passion for retro games”
- Gioteck – gaming accessory brand
- “Another company within PC/Console gaming that, for commercial reasons, is not disclosed today”
According to Embracer, the acquisitions of Middle-earth Enterprises, Limited Run Games, Tuxedo Labs, Tripwire Interactive, Singtrix and the undisclosed company have a combined upfront cost of SEK 6 billion ($576 million), with further payments linked to financial and operational targets bringing the total potential cost to SEK 8.2 billon ($787 million).
Speaking on the acquisition of Limited Run Games, Embracer CEO Lars Wingefors said: “As an avid collector, I’ve admired Limited Run’s collectors’ editions. They’ve built a strong brand that resonates with players.
“We see opportunities for Limited Run to further grow their business with the Carbon Engine by bringing back classic games, and extend their footprint geographically through synergies with other companies within Embracer Group.”
The news marks another round of acquisitions by Embracer, which has increased its portfolio of companies drastically in recent years to become one of the world’s largest publishers.
The Swedish company announced in May that it plans to acquire a large part of Square Enix’s western development arm for $300 million. The deal will see Embracer become the owner of Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal, Square Enix Montreal, and a catalogue of IPs including Tomb Raider and Deus Ex.
It also owns such companies as THQ Nordic, Koch Media/Deep Silver, Saber Interactive and Gearbox Software, and in December 2021 purchased French board game company Asmodee for €2.75 billion, its largest acquisition to date.
Last year it acquired Borderlands developer Gearbox for up to $1.4 billion, and in 2020 it purchased World War Z and Witcher 3 port developer Saber in a deal that could rise to $525 million.
In March, Embracer acquired Dark Horse Media, one the leading US comic book publishers, for an undisclosed sum.