Makers Of Tomb Raider Buy Rights To Lord of the Rings

The Embracer Group are a conglomerate that own tons of different gaming studios and publishers, and they've just bought the rights to the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. What kind of games will they make? We have a few ideas.

Embracer Group Buys LOTR
Another franchise for the Embracer Group! | © Square Enix Europe / New Line Cinema

Okay, before we get into this story, allow us to introduce you to the Embracer Group. They're basically a Swedish Tencent. They're a giant conglomerate that owns multiple studios and publishers including 3D Realms, Ghost Ship Games, Slipgate Ironworks, DigixArt, Force Field, Easy Trigger, CrazyLabs, and Grimfrost. And now they're buying the rights to LotR and The Hobbit. Despite how big they already are, this is a shockingly huge purchase for them. So let's get to the details.

Embracer Group Acquire Rights To LotR & The Hobbit

The Embracer Group have recently acquired "Middle-earth Enterprises" which owns the literary works of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, for use as both video games and "additional movies based on iconic characters". The price has not been disclosed, but this was no doubt a historically large purchase.

As the press release from the Embracer Group reads:

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.

So to be clear: They've bought a subdivision of the company who own LotR, Saul Zaentz. This allows for things like Amazon's Rings of Power series to continue, while also allowing the Embracer Group to let their studios work on LotR games. Phew, this masterpiece is set to continue unharmed.

Speaking of great stories becoming great video games, what about the other way around?

What Will They Do With The IP Rights?

The Embracer Group already own a studio called Asmodee who produced a digital version of the LotR card game (for another company who previously had the license), but they're probably thinking much bigger with this deal. Based on the description in the press release, we would assume that they want to produce multiple games for LotR, as well as spinoff movies for individual characters like Gandalf and Samwise. But obviously, we're talking so far in the future that we can't give you any guarantees. Who knows, maybe even triple-As? We'd certainly like to see LotR get the Hogwarts Legacy treatment.

What do you think about the deal? Are you happy to see LotR spinoffs? Or does that sound like sacrilege?