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Game, movie and live event merchandising rights for The Lord of the Rings franchise are up for sale, Variety reports.
Zaentz Co. currently owns the rights to these Lord of the Rings rights and is selling them with the help of ACF Investment Bank. Variety says those rights could be worth up to $2 billion for the right buyer.
As for potential buyers, Variety speculated that Amazon might be a contender due to its upcoming The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Amazon Prime TV series. It would also be a compelling franchise for Amazon Game Studios. Amazon previously canceled a Lord of the Rings MMO, so we wouldn’t be surprised if it came back to the idea if it owned the intellectual property rights.
Daedalic Entertainment is currently working on a game featuring Gollum, although it’s unlikely they can afford the rights.
Warner Bros. is also a potential buyer. It produced the popular Lord of the Rings and Hobbit film series, and WB Games has also developed several titles set in this world, including Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Middle-earth: Shadow of War. The developer of these games is currently working on a wonder woman game, and Variety reports that WB lost exclusive rights to the film last year. As such, its interest in acquiring these rights is questionable.
This agreement is important because it will play an important role in the future in terms of video game releases and films based on this franchise. Lord of the Rings fans should keep an eye out for the results of this sale.