Axios Pro Exclusive Content

Embracer to acquire "Lord of The Rings" IP among nine acquisitions

Kerry Flynn
Aug 18, 2022
Illustration of an old video game joystick over a collage of rectangles and circles.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Swedish gaming company Embracer Group announced Thursday agreements to acquire nine companies including "The Lord of the Rings" rights holder.

Why it matters: It isn't every day a company reveals nine deals in just one morning.

  • Alhough, Embracer did announce eight deals in one day last August. The conglomerate reported 22 deals last year, beating out Tencent's 16 as the top gaming acquirer, Axios Gaming's Stephen Totilo wrote.

Details: Embracer issued individual press releases on its agreements to acquire Tripwire Interactive, Tuxedo Labs, Singtrix, Limited Run Games, Middle-earth Enterprises and named one undisclosed company.

  • Embracer said the upfront purchase price for these six acquisitions was $577 million. But that does not include the full cost, which is likely $788 million.
  • These companies support growth across types including PC/console, mobile, music and audio gaming.
  • It also formed its 11th operating group, Embracer Freemode, for gaming and entertainment companies. In that release, Embracer announced its recent acquisitions of Tatsujin, Bitwave Games and Gioteck.

The intrigue: The deal for Middle-earth Enterprises comes just ahead of the premiere of Amazon's "Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" series.

  • As Variety notes, there was talk Amazon or another Hollywood company could buy Middle-earth Enterprises from the Saul Zaentz Co. Embracer's operative group Asmodee did already license "The Lord of the Rings" board games and card games.

Of note: Earlier this year, Embracer acquired several big Western studios, including the IP for Tomb Raider.

  • It received a $1 billion investment from Saudi government-funding Savvy Gaming Group. Embracer CEO Lars Wingefors later published a 1,200-word defense of that agreement.
Go deeper