A few months ago, the Swedish group Embracer surprised everyone with its acquisition of various Western studios and licenses coming directly from Square-Enix, including Crystal Dynamics, the company responsible for the Tomb Raider series. At the time, this had caused a small earthquake in the world of Gaming. But that’s nothing compared to what happened last night.
Embracer has just announced the acquisition of Middle-Earth Enterprises, the company that owns the rights to all Tolkien productions (The Lord of the Rings). But that’s not all, Embracer has also acquired four video game studios and is planning a fifth purchase which should cause another earthquake since the latter should be “among the third or fourth largest transactions” in the world. Gaming industry.
Let’s find out together some information about this Swedish group which is becoming a major player in the video game industry. alongside Sony, Microsoft or Tencent.
1/ Embracer Group is only three years old
Embracer Group is becoming one of the biggest players in the video game industry, just behind Sony, Microsoft and Tencent. However, the Swedish group is very young since this year it will celebrate its three years. Indeed, Embracer was created in September 2019.
In reality, the path was a little longer. It was from 201 that the company Nordiq Games Publishing, founded in the 1990s, embarked on a series of takeovers. Big names in the video game industry will thus join the ranks of Nordiq Games such as THQ and Plaion (formerly Koch Media).
From 2019, acquisitions intensify and follow one another. It is to avoid any confusion that in September 2019 Embracer Group is founded to bring together all of its studios.
2/ Embracer owns The Lord of the Rings
Since that night, Embracer Group is the owner of The Lord of the Rings license. Indeed, the company announced the acquisition of Middle-Earth Enterprises, a company which owns Tolkien Enterprises, allowing to have the rights of adaptation of all the Tolkien universe, whether in film or in derived products (games video, series…).
Amazon had thus disbursed more than a billion dollars to Middle-Earth Enterprises to be able to carry out its series The Lord of the Rings. Small important clarification, the rights of The Lord of the Rings books still belong to Saul Zaentz Company.
3/ Embracer owns Tomb Raider
In May 2022, Embracer announced the acquisition of Eidos Montreal, Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix Montreal, three large subsidiaries of Square Enix. Thanks to this takeover, Embracer got its hands on cult video game licenses including Tomb Raider but also Deus Ex. The Swedish group achieved a nice coup since the total amount of the transaction did not exceed 300 million dollars.
On the other hand, this already allowed Embracer to quickly approach the main leaders of the video game industry, whether Sony, Microsoft or Tencent.
5/ 115 video game studios
To date, Embracer Group has more than 115 video game studios around the world, divided into ten divisions. The company is present in more than 40 countries. Among these structures, we can cite very large ones from the Gaming industry, which own cult licenses.
- THQwhich owns the rights to adapt the South Park games.
- Gearbox Softwarethe studio that develops the Borderlands games or even Duke Nukem.
- Milestonespecialized in designing racing games like Ride, WRC, MotoGP…
- Deep Silver Volition who takes care of the Saints Row license
- Crystal Dynamicswhich develops Tomb Raider or Marvel games
- Eidos Montrealwhich handles the Deus Ex license.
Tonight, Embracer got its hands on seven new companies with:
- Limited Run Gamesa publisher specializing in retro-gaming which offers to release many independent or old-school titles in physical version through unpublished collector’s editions.
- Tripwire Interactivean American publisher and developer founded in 2005 which has some interesting licenses with games that have stood out in recent years such as Red Orchestra, Killing Floor, Maneater or Chivalry 2.
- Tuxedo Labsa development studio based in Malmö, Sweden to whom we owe the game Teardown.
- Bitwave Gamesa small studio that developed Wunderling DX and PictoParty.
- Tatsujina small studio led by Masahiro Yuge, one of the founders of the iconic arcade game studio Toaplan.
- Singtrixa company specializing in audio technology.
- Giotecka gaming accessory brand in Europe.
6/ a very big gaming takeover is approaching
Last night, during the acquisition of Middle-Earth Enterprises, Limited Run Games, Tripwire Interactive, Tuxedo Labs and Singtrix, Embracer confirmed the acquisition of a new video game publisher. For the moment, for privacy concerns, Embracer has not yet revealed the name of this company specializing in the development of PC and console games. On the other hand, it would be an industry juggernaut given that the Swedish group has proudly claimed that the “Purchase price of this undisclosed acquisition is among the third or fourth largest transactions”.
Lately, Ubisoft and Electronic Arts were the subject of rumors about a potential takeover. Could Embracer Group create a surprise by announcing the takeover of one of the two publishers? This could change the future of the video game industry already shaken by the acquisition of Activision / Blizzard from Microsoft.
If this were to be the case, the Swedish group could easily rise to the height of Sony, Microsoft and Tencent, which alone monopolize more than half of the video game industry. The list of independent video game publishers and developers would once again be reduced. One thing is certain, the fight has only just begun given that Sony and Microsoft have already announced their intentions to acquire other studios in the coming months.