Embracer: The next big name of the gaming industry? - Latest include plans with Lord of the Rings and Square Enix Montreal rebranding
Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power isn't the end, we'll get to see Embracer bring us more from the LOTR franchise for at least a decade. Also, the Hitman publisher Square Enix Montreal is now Embracer's Studio Onoma. Here are all the details.
In this constant run for the monopoly of the video game industry, Microsoft and Sony are already the established big names. However, that does not obviously deter other developers and publishers, big and small, from trying to catch up. The Embracer Group is one such company, and its aggressive expansion over the past few years speaks for its ambitions. To be more specific, the Borderlands maker Gearbox, Sin City and Umbrella Academy makers Dark House Media, Middle-Earth Enterprises, and the biggest shocker of all, multiple studios of Square Enix, are now all owned by Embracer. In layman’s terms, Embracer now owns IPs like Deus Ex, Tomb Raider, Borderlands, Destroy All Humans!, Goat Simulator, Valheim, and the Lord of the Rings. That’s just to name a few, the list is long.
Point is, Embracer is getting bigger by the day, and it’s a name to look out for. And in the latest update, we received a little more insight into the “big plan” of the Embracer Group. Additionally, Square Enix Montreal is now also focusing on creating a fresh identity of its own, within the sea of properties owned by Embracer. Read on for details.
Lord of the Rings is a long term project for Embracer
Back in August, the Embracer Group announced the news of its acquisition of Middle-Earth Enterprises. In the process, they claimed the IP rights to the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit Literary Works by J. R. R. Tolkien. That meant owning almost everything related to The Lord of the Rings, including The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power, an upcoming animated movie from Warner Brothers, The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim, and of course the video games.
Going back to the “big plan” that we earlier mentioned, CEO Lars Wingefors divulged in an interview with Edge, that their plans with the LOTR franchise extend to “decades ahead”. To quote Wingefors, “We wouldn’t acquire the brand of Lord of the Rings if we were just thinking to maximise that potential over the coming year. You need to think decades ahead. And that’s how we will continue to think about this.” In an earlier press release, Embracer had revealed that they have plans of coming up with movies based on iconic characters such as Gandalf, Aragorn, Gollum, Galadriel, Eowyn. So that’s something that’s definitely not going to wrap up within “the coming year”.
Square Enix Montreal is now Studio Onoma
The legendary game developers Square Enix, shook the gaming industry earlier this year, with it’s news of selling all its Western studios to the Embracer Group. The sell-off included Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal, and Square Enix Montreal. The Embracer Group explained that with the acquisition, they saw great potential, “not only in sequels, but also in remakes, remasters, spinoffs as well as transmedia projects across the Group.” In the meantime, Square Enix as it is known today, has also announced their plans of shifting its focus to Japan. Square Enix Montreal is now up for its aggressive makeover. It is now rebranding itself to Studio Onoma.
In the press release for the “rebranding”, the former Square Enix Montreal explains the meaning of “Onoma”- it is the Greek word for name. They write, “names offer endless possibilities”, “names shape identities”. Clearly Montreal, powered by Embracer, is busy shaping theirs, taking forward the legacy of Square Enix, but with a fresh recall in the minds of its fans.