Axios Pro Exclusive Content

Embracer Group paid $365M for "Lord of the Rings" rights

Jun 21, 2023
Illustration of a person holding a really tiny dollar bill.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Embracer Group, the Swedish gaming giant that acquired the rights to "Lord of the Rings" last summer, revealed it paid around $396 million for the popular franchise.

Why it matters: That's a shockingly low sum for a property that was at one time expected to fetch at least $2 billion.

Driving the news: Embracer Group revealed the 4.25 SEK purchase price in its annual report Wednesday morning, which roughly translates to $395.6 million in USD, currently.

By the numbers: Amazon paid $250 million for the rights to develop a series based on the popular J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy world. It then spent an additional $465 million making the first season.

Catch up quick: Embracer Group, one of the most acquisitive media companies over the last few years, recently announced an aggressive cost-cutting plan that will include the sale or closure of some of its studios.

  • It made more than 20 acquisitions last year alone that totaled more than $1 billion.
  • Going forward, Embracer plans to focus heavily on utilizing its "Lord of the Rings" IP.

Yes, but: This comes as Amazon does into its second season of "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" and Warner Bros. Discovery plans a new set of movies.

  • Embracer Group is reeling after a "transformative" partnership that had been negotiated for months fell apart last month, per Axios Gaming's Stephen Totilo.
Go deeper