Lord of the Rings Buyout – Everything About The Deal
Just today, Embracer Group released a press release about the Lord of the Rings buyout. The development came as a surprise for fans. Through its Freemode subsidiary, it came to an agreement with Middle-earth Enterprises.
The result is acquiring the rights to J.R.R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. The company owns a huge catalog of IP. That includes motion pictures, video and board games, merchandising, and theme parks.
This is considerable news when we think of the recent developments. I already reported on Gollum’s game and the latest Rings of Power trailer. There’s also the new anime series coming next year.
Of course, this has drawn mixed opinions from fans. But, what does it mean for the franchise on The Lord of the Rings buyout? What can we expect from the deal? Let’s find out.
A historic shift from The Saul Zaentz Company
Middle-eart Enterprises are part of The Saul Zaentz Company. The company has had the honor of stewarding Tolkien’s rights for half a century. They’ve been responsible for epic films, video games, and merchandise.
The Saul Zaentz Company started in 1976. It started as a film production company. But, it acquired the rights to J.R.R Tolkien’s literary works. In the same year, they gained the rights to LotR and The Hobbit. It resulted in a cult classic animated version of Lord of the Rings.
In 1998, they were responsible for licensing Peter Jackson’s live-action trilogies. That includes both Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
As such, they’ve been the main carriers of the Tolkien flag when it comes to his works.
The CEO of Embracer Group, Lars Wingefors, also had a few words to say. He claimed to be excited about the franchise joining Embracer. It would open up more opportunities to release new content based on Tolkien’s universe.
Likewise, Marty Glick, the COO of Saul Zaentz, agreed with the statement. He said that they were thrilled about Embracer taking the responsibility. And, they trusted the company to take the franchise to new heights.
What does the Lords of the Rings buyout means for fans?
Asmodee Group is an operative group of Embracer. It’s already a very successful licensee of the franchise. It’s been responsible for publishing several board and card games. The same goes with more than a hundred expansions over the last 20 years.
They’ve been responsible for The Lord of the Rings board game. They’re also behind The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game. The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-earth is another work behind the team.
However, the news were met with uncertainty on social media. Some were against the idea of a holding company owning Tolkien’s works. Fans were also afraid of saturating the market with new releases.
Some compared it with Star Wars. Their fears included a plethora of spin-off and character-based movies. The fear was that the franchise would get “milked dry.”
And, the press release did mention that sentiment. The opportunities included exploring movies based on the iconic characters.
A recent history of large acquisitions by Embracer Group
Middle-earth Enterprises will operate independently. The leadership team won’t change. Yet, people worry about Embracer’s many recent acquisitions.
For instance, it also bought Tatsujin. The Japanese studio owns the Toaplan library. Tripwire Interactive was another investment. They’re the team behind Maneater and Killing Floor. Other purchases include Tuxedo Labs, Limited Run Games, and Singtrix.
Moreover, the company made a deal with Square Enix. From it, Embracer will own Crystal Dynamics, Square Enix Montreal, and Eidos Montreal. Likewise, they’ll gain the rights to a bunch of IPs. They include Tomb Raider, Thief, and Deus Ex.
The deal is set to finalize in September of this year for The Lord of the Rings buyout.
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