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Sweden-based Embracer Group buys theme park rights for Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit properties

Sweden-based Embracer Group buys theme park rights for Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit properties
August 23, 2022

Swedish gaming and entertainment company Embracer Group has bought the theme park rights to J.R.R. Tolkien’s intellectual property including The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit brands.

Embracer has agreed to acquire Middle-earth Enterprises from the Saul Zaentz Company, giving it the rights to films, video games, board games, merchandising, theme parks and stage productions relating to Tolkien’s works.

Lars Wingefors, Embracer Group’s founder and Chief Executive, said he’s “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.”

Adding that he’s “thrilled to see what lies in the future for this IP”, Wingfors went on to state “going forward, we also look forward to collaborating with both existing and new external licensees of our increasingly stronger IP portfolio.”

Embracer plans to use the Tolkien IP with Asmodee, its board and card game subsidiary, and Freemode, its new entertainment and video game group.

Middle-earth Enterprises acquisition
Asmodee Group is already a successful licensee of Tolkien IP. It published The Lord of the Rings board game more than 20 years ago and also produced The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game.

Marty Glick, Chief Executive of the Saul Zaentz Company, noted “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.”

Founded in 1976, the Saul Zaentz Company originally served as a film production company. It acquired the rights to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit in the same year.

The world’s leading J.R.R. Tolkien attraction is the Hobbiton Movies Set at Matamata on New Zealand’s North Island.

Image: Hobbiton Movie Set.

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