By Andrew Dodson on November 18, 2014 at 4:03am
The Asmodee floor at GenCon just got a bit bigger.
Just a couple months after their acquisition of Days of Wonder (publisher behind the award-winning "Ticket To Ride" games), France-based board game giant Asmodee has announced that it will be merging with Fantasy Flight Games (based out of the United States).
The financial terms of the arrangement were not disclosed, but Fantasy Flight Games will continue to operate out of their headquarters in Minnesota, they will retain their current CEO, Christian Petersen, they will keep their current name/logo, and there are no anticipated staffing changes.
By joining forces with Asmodee, we’ll be able to continue that growth, expand our international marketing capabilities, and create additional career opportunities for our terrific staff. Most importantly, we can do this while staying true to our vision of creating great products for the global hobby games market. Christian Petersen, Fantasy Flight Games CEO
Fantasy Flight Games has made a name for itself as a high-quality board game publisher, creating such popular titles as "Twilight Imperium," "Netrunner," and "Arkham Horror." They also already have the rights to many big-name licensed properties, such as Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Battlestar Galactica, and Lord of the Rings. In the press release, Fantasy Flight says that they will work to extend some of these licenses to Asmodee as necessary.
While all that seems good for the Asmodee Group, Fantasy Flight will also benefit from this deal, as they will now have easier access to distribution in Europe. Within the next year or so (as the dust settles), European fans of Fantasy Flight competitive games should also start seeing vast improvements to the organized play programs in their countries.
In the press release explaining the details of the merger, Fantasy Flight Games and Asmodee addresses one of the big questions that a lot of their fans now have: "How will this affect the games?"
FFG’s new and existing product lines will continue to be developed by FFG and sold under the FFG logo. FFG will stay a fully independent publisher in the Asmodee Group, and intends to keep creating the best games possible. A few of FFG’s products, whose identity may be deemed a better fit under a different Asmodee Group brand, may transition within the group.
Similarly, Asmodee’s existing and new products will continue to be developed by Asmodee’s creative staff and/or affiliate studios, and published under the Asmodee, or the independent studios’, logo. Those Asmodee games deemed a great fit for FFG may transition to FFG’s catalog.
It is not uncommon for a mid-sized company (like Fantasy Flight) to merge/be acquired by a larger company - like the Asmodee Group in this instance. While it doesn't seem like they'll be any changes that we will see as consumers, it will be interesting to see what exciting, new products emerge from this new tabletop giant.
It will also be interesting to see if bigger tabletop giants - like Hasbro or Mattel - take notice and make a move of their own.
Fantasy Flight Games Press Release