Swedish gaming big buys Lord of the Rings and Hobbit rights

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The corporate that owns the rights to JRR Tolkien’s works, together with The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, has been purchased by the Swedish gaming agency Embracer Group, which has hinted it might make spin-off movies primarily based on standard characters reminiscent of Gandalf, Aragorn and Gollum.

Embracer has acquired Center-earth Enterprises, the holding firm that controls the mental property rights to movies, video video games, board video games, merchandise, theme parks and stage productions regarding Tolkien’s two most well-known literary franchises.

The deal additionally contains “matching rights” in different Center-earth-related literary works authorised by the Tolkien Property and HarperCollins – primarily The Silmarillion and The Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Center-earth – which had been revealed after Tolkien’s demise in 1973.

When the enterprise was put up on the market by the Saul Zaentz Firm, which acquired its rights from the heirs and property of Tolkien and HarperCollins in 1976, it was anticipated that Amazon would purchase it to construct its personal Center-earth empire.

In 2017, Amazon paid $250m (£208m) for the rights to make an enormous funds prequel to Lord of the Rings, known as Rings of Energy, which is to have a worldwide launch on its Prime Video service on 2 September.

Amazon negotiated instantly with Tolkien’s property to make the collection, as the unique rights deal struck by Saul Zaentz in 1976 didn’t embrace management of creating a TV collection of greater than eight episodes.

Embracer, which already holds the licence to publish board video games and card video games primarily based on LOTR and The Hobbit after its acquisition of Asmodee Group earlier this yr, says it’s to open up extra “transmedia alternatives” for the property.

Center-earth Enterprises has monetary pursuits in future works together with Rings of Energy; the Warner Bros animated movie The Lord of the Rings: The Warfare of the Rohirrim to be launched in 2024; and Digital Arts’ cell sport The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Center-earth.

A spokesperson for Embracer stated: “Different alternatives embrace exploring further motion pictures primarily based on iconic characters reminiscent of Gandalf, Aragorn, Gollum, Galadriel, Eowyn and different characters from the literary works of JRR Tolkien, and persevering with to supply new alternatives for followers to discover this fictive world by way of merchandising and different experiences.”

Embracer is primarily concerned in making PC and console video games. In Could the corporate acquired the studio behind the Tomb Raider franchise and it has additionally been increasing its mental property portfolio into different media.


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