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Asmodee Signs a Deal with Exploding Kittens

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game Designer
From gallery of W Eric Martin
I don't know whether it's possible to write a headline for this story without making it sound like a surrealist fantasy, but the details of this story are that the Asmodee Group has signed "a strategic investment" in game publisher Exploding Kittens, which debuted in 2015 with a game of the same name that raised more than $8 million on Kickstarter and has now sold more than 18 million games from its catalog of twenty titles.

Here's the majority of the press release:
"Exploding Kittens has been a long-time partner of ours, combining amazing creativity and innovation capabilities and the ability to reach a wide audience. We are thrilled to join the Co-founders and The Chernin Group as shareholders of the business, which will enable us to strengthen our go-to-market strategy in the U.S. and more closely collaborate on game design," said St├ęphane Carville, CEO of Asmodee.

Exploding Kittens' long-standing relationship with Asmodee dates back to 2016 when Asmodee first partnered with the company to distribute its games in Europe. Since then, the two companies have continued to strengthen their partnership with additional distribution and licensing relationships around the world. With this new strategic partnership, the two companies aim to leverage the Exploding Kittens teams' creative talents and extensive U.S. footprint with Asmodee's vast array of 21 games studios and its global distribution network with a direct presence in more than 20 countries.

"Since the beginning, Exploding Kittens has aimed to inspire people to put down their screens and connect, laugh, and play in the physical world," said Elan Lee, Co-Founder and CEO of Exploding Kittens. "Asmodee shares this vision and this new alliance will allow us to leverage their global market expertise and help to expand their hit games' presence in the U.S."

PJT Partners served as the sole financial advisor to Exploding Kittens on the transaction. The closing of the transaction is subject to customary conditions and approvals, and the companies expect the closing to take place before the end of 2021.
To explain that reference to The Chernin Group, here's a description of that company: "Founded by Peter Chernin, Jesse Jacobs, and Mike Kerns, TCG is an investment firm dedicated to building consumer businesses. The TCG team has a track record of working with world-class consumer brands in content, commerce, and consumer-tech, including Exploding Kittens, Food52, MeatEater, Headspace Health, The Pro's Closet, Everlywell, Surfline, and Lovevery."
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