The Lord of the Rings Gollum PS5 PlayStation 5 1
Image: Push Square

Embracer, the embattled publisher which announced a significant restructuring earlier today, has been talking a little bit about how it intends to turn its business around. You may recall the European titan had been expanding aggressively, but today it confirmed that it’ll face significant layoffs, closures, and cancellations as it attempts to get its balance sheets back in the green.

One way it aims to steady the ship is with Lord of the Rings games, as it owns the rights to the popular fantasy property. “We know we need to be exploiting Lord of the Rings in a very significant fashion and turning that into one of the biggest gaming franchises in the world,” said newly promoted interim executive Matthew Karch. “And that's obviously something we're going to be doing.”

The suit admitted that Lord of the Rings has a much bigger draw than some of the other titles its teams have been cooking up. “[Lord of the Rings is] a much better use of resources than some of the other projects that some of our teams have been working on,” he explained. “Working together we have those opportunities and we're super excited to see that working relatively quickly.”

Of course, it’s going to need to do much better than the recent Lord of the Rings: Gollum, which is one of the worst reviewed games in recent history. But Daedalic Entertainment developed that, and it was announced prior to Embracer’s acquisition of the Lord of the Rings rights back in August 2022, meaning that it only earned royalties on the release.

Nevertheless, earlier this year it announced that it had five Tolkien titles in development, including an MMO adaptation from Amazon. The question is: do you have an appetite for this much Lord of the Rings? And does the franchise have the potential to be one of the biggest brands in gaming? Embracer is certainly hoping so.