The Embracer Group is buying Middle-earth Enterprises, giving it the rights to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, the video game giant said in a release Thursday. The deal includes movies, video games, board games, merchandising, theme parks and stage productions based on J.R.R. Tolkien's novels.
The Swedish publisher struck a deal with the Saul Zaentz Company, which acquired the Lord of the Rings rights in 1976, but they didn't say how much money changed hands "due to commercial reasons."
It plans to explore "additional movies based on iconic characters such as Gandalf, Aragorn, Gollum, Galadriel, Eowyn and other characters from the literary works of JRR Tolkien, and continue to provide new opportunities for fans to explore this fictive world through merchandising and other experiences."
For now, the deal gives Embracer a financial interest in the many upcoming Middle-earth works, including Amazon's Rings of Power show (which kicks off Sept. 2 on Amazon Prime Video, and includes Galadriel) and animated prequel movie War of the Rohirrim (which features Eowyn).
On the gaming front, there's a sneaky Gollum action-adventure, the survival-focused Return to Moria, Weta's mysterious project, EA's mobile offering Heroes of Middle-earth and the long-running MMO The Lord Of The Rings Online.
Lord of the Rings isn't the only iconic franchise Embracer acquired this year. In May, it struck a deal with Japanese publisher Square Enix that gave it the rights to the Tomb Raider franchise.