Toy market news

Embracer Group acquires IP rights to ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ ‘The Hobbit’

Fantasy franchise gets picked up for worldwide rights to motion pictures, video games, board games, merchandising, theme parks and stage productions by Embracer group

Embracer Group, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Freemode, has entered into an agreement to acquire Middle-earth Enterprises, a division of The Saul Zaentz Company, which owns an intellectual property catalogue and worldwide rights to motion pictures, video games, board games, merchandising, theme parks and stage productions relating to the fantasy literary works, “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 authorized by the Tolkien Estate and HarperCollins, which have yet to be explored.

Middle-earth Enterprises will be a part of the newly founded operative group Embracer Freemode. The company will continue to operate independently under the existing Middle-earth Enterprises leadership team, working closely with Embracer Freemode management and other Embracer operative groups to foster opportunities, growth and synergies within the group to continue to build and expand the franchise.

Embracer’s operative group, 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 more than a dozen games with more than 100 expansions since the release of “The Lord of the Rings” board game more than 20 years ago, including “The Lord of the Rings”: The Card Game and “The Lord of the Rings”: Journeys in Middle-earth, a fully-cooperative, app-supported board game set in J.R.R. Tolkien’s land of Middle-earth.

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