Asmodee is a French board game publishing company who has the rights to many noteworthy games including Catan, Arkham Horror, Captain Sonar, Pandemic, and 7 Wonders. Founded in 1995 by Marc Nunès, they have become the second largest publisher of board games behind Hasbro, boasting over 34 million games sold in more than 50 countries. They also own a number of publishing companies such as Fantasy Flight Games, Space Cowboys and Plaid Hat Games.
On August 7, Asmodee announced that they had acquired three major board game distributors, joining Skyship distributors, which became a part of Asmodee on July 19. Each of these four distributors are based in different parts of the world, giving Asmodee a stronger presence in North America, Latin America, Asia, and Europe.
Skyship was founded in 2014 and is the largest distributor of Spanish games in Chile. The company first collaborated with Asmodee in 2016 when they partnered with Final Flight Games and Skyship has already distributed Asmodee's main studios’ games in Chile. Asmodee was already involved in the South American market through the Brazilian distributor, Galápagos Jogos, but their acquisition of Skyship further strengthens their presence in Latin America. Skyship's manager, Juan Luis Arias, said in the official press release:"We are very happy that Skyship is now part of Asmodee. The experience and global capacity of Asmodee, with our regional knowledge, will quickly generate a positive impact on the gaming market in Chile and Latin America. People want to have fun, dream and tell stories through board games; and this union is a great step so that each time, there is more fun for everyone."
Lion Rampant Imports, founded in 1992, is Canada's largest distributor of Hobby Adventure games and has a growing presence in the Unites States. Based in Brantford, Ontario, it is responsible for distributing games such as Magic the Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, Codenames, Saboteur, Ghost Blitz, and Magic Labyrinth to the country and has a quarterly revenue of $12.8 million. In the official press release, Asmodee notes that the Lion Rampant's strong influence in North America will enable them to "consolidate its undisputed leadership in this market." Ross Fleming, the CEO of Lion Rampant, said in the release:"We are proud to join the Asmodee Group, this will enable Lion Rampant to embark on the next leg of its existence and continue to prosper and consolidate its position as a true retailer partner"
Asmodee acquired Kids Power International, one of the main board game distributors in Taiwan which operates under the GoKids brand. GoKids, founded in 2010, is one of Taiwan’s leading board game companies and have been partners with Asmodee since 2011. The distributor also collaborates with game publishers from Europe, North America, and Asia, and produces over 150 localized titles targeting audiences in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. This acquisition is a major stepping stone for Asmodee's development in Asia. The CEO of Go Kids, George Tsai, commented in the official press release:“Our vision of getting people together through a fantastic entertainment experience will be strengthened as we become part of Asmodee. The passion for telling incredible stories is mutual. We are very happy and proud to join such a great and experienced team”
Searainbow Group is a toys and games publisher, manufacturer and international distributor based in both Europe and Asia that was founded in 2004 as Forever Bright in China, which is a producer of educational toys. The group distributes toys and games to the Asian markets through its subsidiary Wisdom Warehouse, as well as games and puzzles to the European market through The Green Board Game Company and Lagoon. The Green Board Game Company, Searainbow acquired in 2015, is one of the UK's market leaders in educational games, and Lagoon, acquired in 2018, specializes in games and puzzles tailored to UK gift shops. Through acquiring the Searainbow Group, Asmodee now has a stronger presence in Europe and will help continue to plant itself in the markets of Asia. The founder of the Searainbow Group, Jessie Min, said in the official press release:“We are delighted to be joining Asmodee. The resources of a larger group will provide exciting development opportunities, including entrance to more markets and the ability to offer customers a broader and better range of products”
Asmodee Continues to Expand Their Empire
With this amount of growth, it is easy to see how Asmodee has gone from a simple French publisher to the second leading publisher of board games in the world. It will be interesting to see what the company will do with their hands in so many different parts of the international market and where they plan to expand next.