In a stunning series of back-to-back announcements, Embracer Group has announced it is acquiring multiple businesses and IP through its newly established subsidiary, Embracer Freemode. Specifically, Embracer Group has announced it has entered into individual agreements to acquire Limited Run Games, Singtrix (a vocal processing effects technology company), Tripwire Interactive (the Maneater developer), and, most shockingly, Middle-earth Enterprises, including “IP rights to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit literary works by J.R.R Tolkien.” Additionally, Embracer has completed an acquisition of Tuxedo Labs, the small developer of Teardown.
As a new operative group, Embracer Freemode will focus on the following six market segments: “Retro/Classic/Heritage Gaming & Entertainment, Game Development & Production, Devices, Gear & Collectables, Community & Ecommerce, New Idea & Technology Incubation and Production Services.” The above purchases are quite a good start toward pursuing those markets. And in addition to all of the aforementioned acquisitions, Freemode noted that it has also acquired Swedish studio Bitwave Games and Japanese studio Tatsujin. There is even another massive acquisition that is not being made public yet due to “commercial reasons.” However, Embracer Group will not disclose how much it paid or intends to pay for any of these acquisitions, which is a shame, considering Middle-earth Enterprises and the Lord of the Rings IP must be incredibly valuable.
Most of the acquisition press releases that Embracer Group has provided are relatively straightforward, but below we have included an excerpt from the release for Middle-earth Enterprises and the Lord of the Rings IP, since it is such an extraordinary purchase:
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.
 Acquired through Embracer’s subsidiary Embracer Freemode Iconic Holding Inc. and will be part of the operative group Embracer Freemode.
“I am truly excited to have The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, one of the world’s most epic fantasy franchises join the Embracer family, opening up more transmedia opportunities including synergies across our global group. I am thrilled to see what lies in the future for this IP with Freemode and Asmodee as a start within the group. Going forward, we also look forward to collaborating with both existing and new external licensees of our increasingly stronger IP portfolio,” says Lars Wingefors, Founder and Group CEO Embracer Group.
“We at the Zaentz Company have had the honor over the past half century of stewarding the Tolkien rights so that Lord of the Rings and Hobbit fans worldwide could enjoy award winning epic films, challenging video games, first rate theatre and merchandise of every variety. We could not be more thrilled that it is Embracer now taking up the responsibility and we are confident their group will take it to new heights and dimensions while maintaining homage to the spirit of these great literary works,“ says Marty Glick, COO of The Saul Zaentz Company.
For those who could use a reminder, Embracer Group is a media holdings company based in Sweden that prior to today already owned a large amount of game development studios and publishers, several of which are themselves wholly owned subsidiaries, including THQ Nordic, Gearbox Software, Saber Interactive, and Asmodee, just to name a slim few.