‘Lord of the Rings,’ ‘The Hobbit’ Movie, Games and Other Rights Holder Sold to Gaming Company Embracer

‘Lord of the Rings,’ ‘The Hobbit’ Movie, Games and Other Rights Holder Sold to Gaming Company Embracer

Swedish gaming company Embracer Group has agreed to acquire, Middle-earth Enterprises, a division of The Saul Zaentz Company that owns a intellectual property catalog and worldwide rights to motion pictures, video games, board games, merchandising, theme parks and stage productions relating to the literary works The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.

It also owns matching rights in other Middle-earth-related literary works authorized by the Tolkien Estate and HarperCollins, “which have yet to be explored,” the companies said in unveiling the deal on Thursday.

The price tag of the sale to Embracer subsidiary Freemode wasn’t disclosed.

“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. I am thrilled to see what lies in the future for this IP with Freemode and Asmodee as a start within the group. Going forward, we also look forward to collaborating with both existing and new external licensees of our increasingly stronger IP portfolio, said Lars Wingefors, founder and group CEO of Embracer.

“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. 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,“ said Marty Glick, COO of The Saul Zaentz Company.

The Saul Zaentz Company based in Berkeley, was founded in 1976 and was originally set up as a film production company, which produced the likes of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The Saul Zaentz Company acquired its rights from the heirs and estate of J.R.R. Tolkien and HarperCollins Publishers, which maintain the print publication rights to J.R.R. Tolkien’s literary works.