In August 2022, Embracer Group added Middle-earth Enterprises to its ever-growing lineup of studios and properties. And it's not wasting any time doing something with it: Embracer revealed in its Q3 2022 financial report that it now has no less than five LotR games in development.
"There are currently five games in production by external partners, to be released in financial year 2023/24," the report states. "There is also one film in production by an external partner."
Embracer's 2023/24 fiscal year runs from April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024, meaning that, if the schedule holds, all five games will be out within little more than a year.
The report doesn't give any indication of titles or platforms, but it's possible that we know of at least three of the games in development already. Go (opens in new tab)llum and Return to Moria (opens in new tab) have been on our radar for a while, and the third potential project is The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth (opens in new tab), a mobile game being developed by Electronic Arts.
None of these games are being developed or published by an Embracer company—Gollum is Daedalic and Nacon, while Return to Moria is being developed by Free Range Games and published by North Beach Games—but as the unofficial fan account EmbracerInvestor (opens in new tab) noted, the likelihood is that all of these games were licensed out by Middle-earth Enterprises prior to its acquisition by Embracer. Generally, those pre-existing deals hold up even after an acquisition: That's why, for instance, 2K Games is publishing Gearbox's new Tales From the Borderlands game, even though Gearbox is now owned by Embracer (opens in new tab).
These 5 LOTR titles mentioned today were likely already licensed out before Embracer bought Middle-earth Enterprises. https://t.co/WWGjuNpprsFebruary 16, 2023
The Lord of the Rings: Gollum doesn't currently have a release date: It was supposed to be out last fall but a July 2022 delay pushed it into 2023, and at last check it was expected to be out sometime during the first half of Nacon's 2023-24 fiscal year (opens in new tab), putting it between April 1 and September 30. Return to Moria is possibly a little closer, as it's slated to arrive sometime this spring (opens in new tab).
I've reached out to Embracer for more information on its Lord of the Rings plans and will update if I receive a reply.