Asmodee’s parent company Embracer Group to acquire IP rights to the literary works Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien.
Embracer Group AB, 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 a vast intellectual property catalogue and worldwide rights to motion pictures, video games, board games, merchandising, theme parks and stage productions relating to the iconic fantasy literary works The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are among the world’s largest, most enduring, iconic entertainment franchises and birthed the fantasy genre.
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 over a dozen games with over 100 expansions since the release of The Lord of the Rings board game over 20 years ago, including classics such as 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 iconic land of Middle-earth.
“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,” commented Lars Wingefors, founder and Group CEO at Embracer Group. “I am thrilled to see what lies in the future for this IP with Freemode and Asmodee.”
Through its Middle-earth Enterprises division, The Saul Zaentz Company also has produced and licensed a wide variety of successful video games, board games, stage productions and merchandise based on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit for more than forty-five years.
Marty Glick, COO of The Saul Zaentz Company added: “We could not be more thrilled that Embracer is now taking up the responsibility of The Tolkien rights, and we are confident its group will take it to new heights and dimensions while maintaining homage to the spirit of these great literary works.”
Key upcoming works set in Middle-earth, include the much-heralded Amazon series The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power which will premiere on September 2, 2022, set thousands of years before The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings; the animated movie The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim (Warner Bros), set for release in 2024, and the mobile game The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth (Electronic Arts).