Big moves on big names
If you haven’t heard of Embracer Group before today, get ready to hear about them a ton moving forward. Embracer Group has announced a number of big-name acquisitions, and the list includes all sorts of familiar names.
Of particular note in the announcement is Embracer Group’s purchase of Limited Run Games, the boutique retailer that releases all sorts of games in physical form. Along with that, Embracer Group also nabbed the rights to Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit when it comes to game releases.
There’s a lot more under Embracer Group’s umbrella now, and you can get the full breakdown in the press release below.
The newly formed operative group focuses on six broad and diverse business market segments including: retro / classic / heritage gaming and entertainment, game development and production, devices, gear, and collectables, community and ecommerce, new idea and technology incubation, and production services.
With the backing of Freemode, Bitwave can expand the internal development team and build a publishing team. Bitwave will bring the highly regarded shoot ’em up games from Toaplan to PC and publish the Nintendo Entertainment System / Famicom classic platformer Gimmick! on console and modern consoles in the west.
We are also excited to announce that we recently acquired Gioteck one Europe’s leading gaming accessory brands. Gioteck has a rich heritage spanning two decades. We believe there are great opportunities for Gioteck to collaborate within Embracer as well as the wider gaming industry.
Limited Run Games
Embracer Group, through its wholly owned subsidiary Freemode, has entered into an agreement to acquire Limited Run Games from its founders Josh Fairhurst and Douglas Bogart. Limited Run is a global leading collector-focused publisher of physical video games with a strong brand, established direct-to-consumer channels, and owns the development technology Carbon Engine that ports retro games to modern platforms.
Limited Run will operate as an independent subsidiary with Josh Fairhurst (CEO) and Douglas Bogart (COO) continuing to lead the company under the newly formed operative group Embracer Freemode. The Carbon Engine and Limited Run’s business model aligns with the focus area heritage within Freemode cherishing retro games and the opportunity to shepherd classic games into the future and preserve the legacy.
The transaction includes the wholly-owned subsidiary Limited Run Retail LLC, a retail store in Cary, North Carolina, that opened earlier this year, and Limited Run’s 40 percent ownership in the joint-venture Super Deluxe Games in Japan that will source more games to Limited Run on the western market and provide a channel to sell Limited Run’s catalogue in one of the strongest markets in the world for physical games.
Embracer Group, through its wholly owned subsidiary Freemode, has entered into an agreement to acquire Middle-earth Enterprises, a division of The Saul Zaentz Company, which owns a vast intellectual property catalogue and worldwide rights to motion pictures, video games, board games, merchandising, theme parks, and stage productions relating to the iconic fantasy literary works The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, as well as matching rights in other Middle-earth-related literary works authorized by the Tolkien Estate and HarperCollins, which have yet to be explored.
Key upcoming works set in Middle-earth, in which Middle-earth Enterprises has financial interests, include the much-heralded Amazon series The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power, which will premiere on September 2, 2022, set thousands of years before The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings; the animated movie The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim (Warner Bros), set for release in 2024, and the mobile game The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth (Electronic Arts).
Other opportunities include exploring additional movies based on iconic characters such as Gandalf, Aragorn, Gollum, Galadriel, Eowyn, and other characters from the literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien, and continue to provide new opportunities for fans to explore this fictive world through merchandising and other experiences.
The acquisition of the rights is in line with Embracer’s IP-driven transmedia strategy. The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are among the world’s largest, most enduring iconic entertainment franchises and birthed the fantasy genre.
Middle-earth Enterprises will be a part of the newly founded operative group Embracer Freemode. The company will continue to operate independently under the existing Middle-earth Enterprises leadership team, working closely with Embracer Freemode management and other Embracer operative groups to foster opportunities, growth and synergies within the Group to continue to build and expand the great franchise.
Embracer Group AB, through its wholly owned subsidiary Freemode, has entered into an agreement to acquire Singtrix from its founders.
Through the acquisition, Freemode welcomes a highly innovative team of five and its extensive network that will strengthen Freemode’s game development and present new opportunities for music and audio gaming products. Management expects that Singtrix will expand its vocal technology platform into a broad range of new music games, streaming, and mobile franchises. In addition, Singtrix’s presence in Los Angeles further builds on Freemode’s footprint in the US and provides a new major hub of entertainment creator talent on the West Coast.
We are also proud to officially announce that we recently acquired Tatsujin which is Embracer’s first studio located in Japan. Tatsujin is led by Masahiro Yuge, one of the founders of the iconic arcade games studio Toaplan known for games such as Truxton, Snow Bros, and Flying Shark. Acquiring the rights to the Toaplan catalog separately in another deal means Tatsujin with several employees that once created the Toaplan games can now curate these classics and shepherd them into the future.
■ Saber Interactive
Embracer Group, through its wholly owned subsidiary Saber Interactive, has acquired 100 percent of the shares of Swedish developer Tuxedo Labs. Tuxedo Labs is best known for creating the hit voxel-based destruction PC game Teardown. Embracer adds Dennis Gustafsson, Tuxedo Labs’ founder and CTO, who is a highly technical visionary with a specialty in physics, and his team of five.
The acquisition adds a uniquely talented team focused on physics-based game technology and design. Within the Embracer Group, Tuxedo Labs will operate as a subsidiary under the Saber operating group. The acquisition further strengthens Saber’s presence within Sweden.
Embracer Group, through its wholly owned subsidiary Saber Interactive, has entered into an agreement to acquire 100 percent of the shares of award-winning US developer and publisher Tripwire Interactive from its four current owners. Tripwire Interactive is well-known for the Killing Floor and Rising Storm series and their recent best-seller Maneater, as well as their publishing division Tripwire Presents.
Co-founder and CEO Alan Wilson will stay on in his role and continue to run Tripwire along with Bill Munk, Co-founder and Lead Combat Designer, and David Hensley, Design Director. Co-Founder John Gibson will be pursuing opportunities outside of Tripwire.
The acquisition adds an extremely experienced development group with its collection of four strong franchises: Maneater, Killing Floor, Rising Storm, and Red Orchestra. The group has an exciting AAA title in production, as well as a rapidly-growing publishing division.
Within the Embracer Group, Tripwire Interactive will operate as a subsidiary under the Saber Interactive operative group. Post transaction business will remain as usual with the team focused on developing future projects.