Embracer Group buys all of Middle-earth, plus seven more game companies

Embracer Group buys all of Middle-earth, plus seven more game companies

It’s a running joke that the Swedish conglomerate Embracer Group regularly buys up large chunks of the games industry, but now they’ve just gone and bought an entire universe. Embracer has acquired the rights to JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit properties from former owner The Saul Zaentz Company. That includes games, along with movies and other media, folks. Ol’ Embracer has also acquired seven companies within the gaming arena.

Embracer Group bought Tripwire Interactive, which made the Maneater shark simulator.

The total upfront cost of Embracer’s latest acquisitions is SEK 6 billion (£480 million), with an estimated additional deferred cost of SEK 2.2 billion (£175 million) if targets are met. I think that’s what my gold superyacht cost in total. Embracer said the acquisitions will strengthen its portfolio — I’m not making this up, they really did — with “profitable IP and franchises.” There’s even another gaming-related acquisition mentioned in that investor statement that they haven’t made public yet due to “business reasons.”

Four of the other game companies acquired by Embracer are:

  • interactive tripwire (developer and publisher known for Maneater, Killing Floor)
  • tuxedo labs (the Swedish studio behind Teardown)
  • singer (the karaoke company formed by former Guitar Hero developers)
  • Limited Run Games (the physical media specialists)

Embracer also announced that they are forming a new task force called Freemode that is dedicated to “retro, classic and traditional gaming.” That’s led by Lee Guinchard, the former vice president of hardware at Activision Blizzard who oversaw work on Guitar Hero and Skylanders during his time there. Freemode will operate Singtrix and Limited Run Games on behalf of Embracer, while Saber Interactive will manage Tripwire and Tuxedo Labs.

Through Freemode, Embracer has also acquired Japanese arcade specialists. Tatsujin and the previous catalog of its founder Masahiro Yuge from the Toaplan studio. from Sweden bitwave games, another acquisition, is bringing Toaplan shmups to PC. Embracer also announced that Freemode has acquired gaming accessory manufacturers. Gioteck.

Tolkien’s fantasy world and it’s not the only high-profile great white shark Embracer has landed this year. In May, I reported on the purchase of a large amount of intellectual property and studios from Square Enix for $300 million. That deal included Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Thief, and Legacy Of Kain. The studios acquired by Embracer were Crystal Dynamics, Eidos-Montréal and Square Enix Montréal. In April, Embracer made up Perfect World Entertainment, Lost Boys Interactive and Beamdog.

The consolidation of the games industry continues apace. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to colonize Mars in my specially designed spaceship. Tare!

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