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Asmodee Group Acquires Plan B Games

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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From gallery of W Eric Martin
In mid-2016, the Asmodee Group acquired F2Z Entertainment from owner Sophie Gravel, picking up publishing studios Z-Man Games, Filosofia Éditions, and Plaid Hat Games in the deal. (Plaid Hat Games regained its independence from Asmodee in February 2020.)

Gravel maintained ownership of the Pretzel Games brand, which became a studio within Plan B Games, which launched publicly in January 2017 with the announcement of Century: Spice Road. In July 2017, Plan B Games acquired German publisher eggertspiele. Gravel had told me in early 2017 that it was a relief to start over and be in charge of a small company once again, but regarding the eggertspiele acquisition later, she told me, "When an opportunity appears, it is almost impossible for me not to grab it."

In January 2018, Plan B Games established its Next Move Games brand for lightly-themed, abstract strategy games, announcing Reef as the first new title under that brand, while also transferring the incredibly successful Azul to that brand. Azul went on to win the Spiel des Jahres award in 2018 and has sold more than two million copies to date.

Now, less than five years after Gravel sold F2Z to the Asmodee Group, Tric Trac reports that Gravel has sold Plan B Games — the parent company for Plan B Games, Next Move Games, eggertspiele, and Pretzel Games — to the Asmodee Group. (As a reminder, Asmodee bought Tric Trac from Gravel in July 2019.) As part of the deal, reports Brettspielbox, starting in May 2021 titles from the Plan B Games group will be distributed by Asmodee in Germany, whereas previously they were handled by Pegasus Spiele.

ToyNews notes that Plan B Games has eighteen employees in Canada and Germany, and these employees — and Gravel — will continue to work with Asmodee for an unspecified period of time. Here's an excerpt from that article, which is likely from a press release, although I've yet to be able to find a press release on any of the Asmodee sites or on the site of owner Pai Partners:
"I am delighted to see the Plan B Games family become part of the great Asmodee team," said founder Sophie Gravel. "Its tremendous network will offer our collections a broader distribution base as well as a bigger community of players worldwide.

"We will continue to strive to publish games with the same care and attention to detail that has always been our driving force. Our goal remains the same: to offer unforgettable playing experiences, both through the depth of our gameplay and premium-quality materials."

Stéphane Carville, CEO of the Asmodee Group, added: "The Plan B group has demonstrated, year after year, its creativity and sense of aesthetics in creating highly successful games such as Azul, which will naturally find its place among our pillar brands alongside the likes of Catan and Ticket to Ride.

"We are very pleased that Sophie Gravel and her teams, with whom we have developed a close partnership through the years, will be joining our group and participating in the development of our games catalogue."
Perhaps Asmodee learned from its mistake in 2016, when Gravel started Plan B less than a year after selling F2Z Entertainment to Asmodee, which is why this time Gravel will continue working with Asmodee. Might as well make full use of her skills in picking people to hire and games to publish before she heads off to create Plan C Games...
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