Embracer Group has revealed how much money it spent on purchasing The Lord of the Rings rights through its acquisition of Middle-earth Enterprises from The Saul Zaentz Company.
The information was disclosed in a 200-page annual report published on June 21. The Middle-earth Enterpises deal cost Embracer Group SEK 2.9 billion ($395 million).
Out of this sum, SEK 2,9 billion ($269.4 million) has directly impacted the company’s cash flow.
Embracer announced the acquisition of Middle-earth Enterprises last year, but didn’t disclose the financial terms at the time. According to Variety, the IP rights for The Lord of Rings were estimated at up to $2 billion, but it turns out the projections were way too high.
For comparison, Amazon reportedly paid the J.R.R. Tolkien estate $250 million to produce The Rings of Power TV series. And the deal struck by Embracer covers way more mediums and potential projects.
The Swedish holding company doesn’t have rights to Tolkien’s books. But through the acquisiton of Middle-earth Enterprises, previously owned by The Saul Zaentz Company, it currently owns IP and worldwide rights to films, video games, merchandise, theme parks, and board games based on The Lord of the Rings.
Following the acquisition, Middle-earth Enterprises became part of the Embracer Freemode operative group.
On top of that, another Embracer’s operative group, Asmodee, has a successful record of publishing board and card games based on The Lord of the Rings IP over the past 20 years.
“We know we need to be exploiting Lord of the Rings in a very significant fashion and turning that into one of the biggest gaming franchises in the world,” Embracer COO Matthew Karch told investors last week. “And that’s obviously something that we’re going to be doing. And so that’s a much better use of resources than some of the other projects that some of our teams have been working on.”
The Middle-earth Enterprises deal not only allows the Swedish holding company to produce its own LOTR games and other transmedia products, but also licenses the brand to third-party companies. For example, Amazon Games recently made a deal with Embracer Group to develop a new MMO title based on the work of J.R.R. Tolkien.