Written by Kianna Best on Aug 18, 2022. Posted in Production News

The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit brand rights sold to video games company Embracer Group

Video games company Embracer group have been sold the rights to J.R.R Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit franchises. The intellectual property has been acquired from previous California based owners The Saul Zaentz Company. A purchase price for the deal will not be disclosed.


Lars Wingefors, Founder and Group CEO of Embracer Group stated: “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.


Image courtesy of Amazon Prime Video


Embracer Group’s wholly owned subsidiary Embracer Freemode will take ownership of the Middle-earth Enterprise’s franchises. These will include the intellectual property catalogue and worldwide rights to motion picture, video games, board games, merchandising, theme parks and stage productions relating to the fantasy literary works. In addition, future rights which have yet to be explored and authorised by the Tolkien Estate and HarperCollins will be overseen by Embracer Freemode.


Image courtesy of Amazon Prime Video


 The Saul Zaentz Company first acquired the rights to the popular mythical franchises in 1976. As a result, the company have seen the growth of the brand from its first animated cult classic film in 1978 to the USD 6 million and award-winning live action projects. With their deep involvement in their Middle-earth enterprises division, they have produced and licensed multiple successful video games, board games, stage productions and merchandise for more than 45 years.


“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,” commented Marty Glick, COO of The Saul Zaentz Company. “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.”


Image courtesy of Embracer Group


 Embracer Group have had previous involvement in the Middle-earth brand with their operative group Asmodee Group being one of the most successful licensees of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit through board games and card games. Over the past 20 years, the group have seen more than 100 expansions of the brand.


Upcoming works for the Middle-earth brand include the Amazon Prime series The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power set to premiere 2 September, 2022, animated movie The Lord of the Rings: The War of Rohirrim from Warner Bros. set for release in 2024, and the mobile game The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth brought to the public by Electronic Arts.


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