What just happened? Embracer Group is continuing its apparent quest to own the entire entertainment industry with six more acquisition agreements that include the purchase of Limited Run Games, Tripwire Interactive, and the rights to Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and their related properties---but not the books themselves.
Swedish media holding giant Embracer Group is already the parent company of several massive industry players, including THQ Nordic, Gearbox Interactive, Dark Horse Media, and more. Back in May, it agreed to add Square Enix Montréal, Eidos Montréal, and Crystal Dynamics to its roster.
Among the new acquisitions made through its Freemode subsidiary is Middle-earth Enterprises, granting it IP rights to Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit that cover everything from movies, TV shows, video games, merchandising, and board games, to stage plays and even theme-park rights; the literary works are owned by Tolkien Estate. Precisely how much Embracer has agreed to pay The Saul Zaentz Company for Middle-earth Enterprises hasn't been revealed "due to commercial reasons."
The LoTR rights also include Amazon's upcoming The Rings of Power series that arrives on September 2. Embracer writes that it could explore "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."
Another acquisition announced by Embracer Group is Tripwire Interactive, whose games include the Killing Floor series, Chivalry 2, and Maneater. It's also acquiring Teardown developer Tuxedo Labs, home karaoke system Singtrix, and Limited Run, which creates special physical editions of games from smaller devs.
All purchase prices are undisclosed, though the upfront costs total $557 million. There was also a secret, sixth acquisition that Embracer hasn't announced due to the familiar "commercial reasons." It's a company within the PC/console gaming space, and the deal is "in the range of being among either third or fourth largest of the transactions."
Following Embracer Group's buyout of Square Enix Montréal, Eidos Montréal, and Crystal Dynamics, the company announced its intentions to create brand-new content for some of its newly acquired intellectual properties. That potentially covers new movies, games, and merchandise for the likes of Tomb Raider and Hitman and the resurrection of franchises such as Deus Ex, Legacy of Kain, and Thief.