Asmodee is a French board game publishing company who have the rights to many noteworthy games that include 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 to have sold over 34 million games in more than 50 countries. They also obtained the publishing rights to the French version of the Pokémon Trading Card Game in 2003, which was a large part of my childhood.
In light of their worldwide success, the company is now expanding to a new market with the creation of Aconyte, a novel division of the company to be headed by British author and editor Marc Gascoigne. The division's creation was first announced in April 2019 with the goal of "bringing further depth, intrigue, characters, and narrative to some of the best game worlds ever created.” They also announced that they are pursuing licenses for third-party tie-in fiction for their popular games, and are currently accepting submissions from experienced writers to be published. Since its creation, Asmodee has appointed Vince Rospond as Aconyte's North American Sales Manager.
Today Aconyte has taken another step towards releasing their novels by announcing in a press release that they have entered in a sales and distribution agreement with book publishing company Simon & Schuster. A subsidiary of the mass media company CBS Cooperation, the company has been publishing books since 1924 and has publishing and distribution capabilities in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and India. They also have an international sales presence in every major market and publishes approximately 2000 titles annually. In the press release Vice President and General Manager of Simon & Schuster, Michael Pearlman said, “We are delighted to welcome Aconyte Books to our family to distribution clients. We look forward to helping their publishing program grow.”
The press release also included a statement from the head of Aconyte, Marc Gascoigne, in which he named "Arkham Horror, Legend of the Five Rings, Pandemic, Descent and Catan" as a few of their most deeply realized game worlds they hope to base novels around. Aconyte has set their first novels to be released in the late spring of 2020, with a countdown on their website set for May 4, 2020. As many board game sessions seem to develop unique narratives of their own, it will be very interesting to see what kind of stories Aconyte will release and if they will change the way players view different Asmodee games.