2022 has turned into a year of pretty regular blockbuster acquisitions by the games industry’s biggest players, with Microsoft and Sony setting the ball rolling early with their huge deals for Activision Blizzard and Bungie.
This time, it’s Embracer Group making the headlines, following up its $300 Million purchase of a number of former Square Enix studios in May with a bunch of fresh investments, which have been announced immediately following the publication of the company’s interim Q1 financial report.
Headlining the purchase list are several well-regarded studios from around the world and, perhaps most eye-catchingly, the IP rights to the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit.
Scandinavian publisher turns heads with string of massive purchases
The latter acquisition, which has attracted a lot of attention on social media from both Tolkien fans and games industry figures, comes via an agreement to acquire Middle-earth Enterprises, orchestrated by Embracer Group subsidiary Embracer Freemode Iconic Holding Inc.
The publisher cites its “IP-driven transmedia strategy” as the impetus for buying the rights to Frodo and friends, acknowledging that several works set in Middle-earth, including an Amazon series, an animated movie and a mobile game, are currently in development.
It also suggests that developing additional movies based on characters like Gandalf, Aragorn and Gollum will be considered going forwards, with Founder and CEO Lars Wingefors saying: “I am thrilled to see what lies in the future for this IP with Freemode and Asmodee as a start within the group.”
While this is the purchase grabbing the most headlines, as previously alluded to, it’s hardly the only deal Embracer Group has swung, with indie game publisher Limited Run Games, Teardown developer Tuxedo Labs, and Killing Floor developer Tripwire Interactive all coming into the Embracer fold, in addition to vocal processing effects company Singtrix and Japanese studio Tatsujin.
Also mentioned in the financial results that narrowly preceded the news of these acquisitions is a studio change for one of the big budget titles Embracer Group currently has in development, which the company doesn’t name, but that Axios’ Stephen Totilo theorises could be the Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic remake which recently had its development paused.
Finally, there’s one more mystery sting left in the tail of this barrage of Embracer Group announcements and reveals, with the publisher alluding to an “agreement to acquire another company within PC/Console gaming that, for commercial reasons, is not disclosed today” in its discussion of the financial impact of the other purchases.
Make sure to follow us for more updates on that deal whenever it’s revealed and general coverage of Embracer Group’s games.