Asmodee’s parent company – Embracer Group – to acquire Middle-earth Enterprises
Embracer Group, through its wholly owned subsidiary Freemode, has entered into an agreement to acquire Middle-earth Enterprises, owner of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit brands.
Middle-earth Enterprises, a division of The Saul Zaentz Company, owns the rights to 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 authorised by the Tolkien Estate and HarperCollins.
“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,” said Lars Wingefors, Founder and Group CEO at Embracer 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.”
Marty Glick, COO of The Saul Zaentz Company, added: “We at the Zaentz Company have had the honour 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.”
The Embracer-owned Asmodee Group is already one of the most successful licensees of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit through board games and card games, having published over a dozen games since the release of The Lord of the Rings board game over 20 years ago.
Key upcoming works set in Middle-earth include the Amazon series The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power, the animated movie The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim and EA’s mobile game The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth.
To stay in the loop with the latest news, interviews and features from the world of toy and game design, sign up to our weekly newsletter here