The one company to rule them all. We are all Embracer now.
The Lord of the Rings ring

Last night around midnight (ET) that Embracer Group made several acquisition announcements that have been turning heads all day. First off, Embracer says that they have acquired the rights to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien through its acquisition of Middle-earth Enterprises.

Middle-earth Enterprises is a company that holds the licensing rights to The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and other Tolkien works. Middle-earth Enterprises was previously owned by The Saul Zaentz Company, which first acquired the rights to The Lord of the Rings in 1975. The apparent valuation of Middle-earth properties is said to be at least $2 billion (USD), but both parties have agreed not to disclose the final price decided upon for the sale.

With the acquisition of Middle-earth Enterprises, Embracer now has the "worldwide rights to motion pictures, video games, board games, merchandising, theme parks, and stage productions" based on Middle-earth. Embracer will now have some measure of financial interest in all of the upcoming Middle-earth related works that are coming. This includes the Rings of Power TV series from Amazon, The War of the Rohirrim animated film from Warner Bros., the upcoming Heroes of Middle-earth mobile game from EA, the upcoming The Lord of the Rings: Gollum game from Daedalic Entertainment, and the ongoing development of The Lord of the Rings MMO.

In their acquisition announcement last night, Embracer says that they are already looking to create "additional movies based on iconic characters such as Gandalf, Aragorn, Gollum, Galadriel, Eowyn, and other characters from the literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien." Get ready for the Tolkien Cinematic Universe, or as I like to call it: The TCU.

As if that wasn't enough, Embracer Group also made several more acquisition announcements last night. One of the bigger acquisitions is Tripwire Interactive. Tripwire Interactive is both a development studio and publisher that has created franchises such as Killing Floor, Red Orchestra, and Maneater to the world. They have also helped to publish games such as Chivalry 2 and will soon publish Deceive Inc. by Sweet Bandits Studios.

Monetary terms for this acquisition were not revealed by either company. However, we do know that there will be very little change as far as management goes at Tripwire Interactive.

Co-founder and CEO Alan Wilson will stay on in his role and continue to run Tripwire along with Bill Munk, Co-founder and Lead Combat Designer, and David Hensley, Design Director. Co-Founder John Gibson will be pursuing opportunities outside of Tripwire.
Embracer notes that Tripwire currently has "an exciting AAA title in production," but did not announce what that title may be just yet.

And yet, Embracer Group still wasn't finished with new acquisition announcements last night. They also acquired Tuxedo Labs (Teardown), Singtrix (created the technology behind Guitar Hero), Bitwave Games (Swedish development studio), Gioteck (gaming accessories), and Limited Run Games (publisher of physical "old" video games). Not only that, but Embracer has formed Embracer Freemode, which is a collection of studios that will be creating a variety of games, devices, gear, collectibles, and other products for Embracer. Freemode consists of Tatsujin, Game Outlet Europe, Clear River Games, Quantic Lab, Bitwave Games, Gioteck, C77 Entertainment, and Grimfrost.

Interestingly, there is still one more acquisition made by Embracer that has not been announced in any capacity. Embracer says that they are not disclosing this particular acquisition yet "for commercial reasons." They do say that the purchase price for this undisclosed acquisition is "among either third or fourth largest of the transactions." The mystery acquisition is "another company within PC/Console gaming." Let the speculation run wild on what studio that might be!

Though we have not yet been told how much Embracer paid for each of these acquisitions, we do know that the latest acquisitions came to SEK8.2 billion, or around $770 million (USD).

Earlier this year, Embracer Group made similar headlines after they acquired Eidos-Montreal, Crystal Dynamics, and Square Enix Montreal. As part of that $300 million (USD) deal with Square Enix, Embracer also acquired the rights to several popular IPs from these studios such as Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Thief, Legacy of Kain, and over 50 more. Embracer also owns other big gaming companies such as THQ Nordic, Saber Interactive, Coffee Stain, and Gearbox.