W. Eric Martin
The private equity firm Eurazeo, which owns The Asmodee Group, a.k.a. Asmodee, posted its 2017 annual results on March 9, 2018 (PDF), and since we focus on games in this space, let's excerpt what's relevant to the status of Asmodee:
Of the nine unlisted portfolio companies (Asmodee, Fintrax, Iberchem, Sommet Education, Novacap, Desigual, Trader Interactive, LPCR and Neovia), six posted double-digit revenue growth in 2017: 1) Asmodee (acquired in 2016) recorded revenue growth of +17% driven by sustained organic growth (games in Europe and Pokemon collector cards). 2017 was a year of transition in the U.S.: management was reinforced to improve procurement and remodel the distribution network, enabling a return to growth in Q4
What's next for Asmodee? After its recent acquisitions of Lookout Games, Mayfair Games, and Rebel, where does it go from here? Perhaps this press release from March 21, 2018 tells us what we need to know:
The Asmodee Group (Asmodee), a global leader in board game publishing and distribution, today announced the launch of Asmodee Entertainment, a new division which will leverage the company's intellectual property to develop new content types such as feature films, TV series, comics and graphic novels. Asmodee will primarily develop this content through strategic partnerships and licensing.
The launch of Asmodee Entertainment will unlock new narrative experiences for the Group's fans and communities across a variety of platforms, wider storytelling possibilities for its creative talent and fresh revenue sources for its business. The move formalizes Asmodee's efforts to maximize its existing IP in close cooperation with its publishing studios, a key element of the company's growth strategy.
"Asmodee's success has been built on telling amazing stories through the great games we develop," said Stéphane Carville, CEO of Asmodee Group. "With the launch of Asmodee Entertainment, we will be telling these beloved stories through brand new channels like feature films and graphic novels, while also introducing new fans to our portfolio."
Andy Jones, a games industry expert with 30 years' experience, has been appointed to head of Asmodee Entertainment. Jones is the former head of global new business development at Games Workshop. In his new role, he will spearhead this pillar of Asmodee's growth strategy: helping the company expand its content production.
"I am honored to lead this new strategic initiative to bring our fantastic IPs to many different forms of media. The success of our previous ventures into books and graphic novels, set in Asmodee worlds, demonstrated our fans' desire to engage with their favorite stories in formats beyond the board games they love," said Jones. "Through these new forms of content, our vibrant characters and engaging narratives can also reach new audiences around the world."
Darren Kyman has also been appointed to the role of senior vice president of business development for Asmodee Entertainment and will be based in Los Angeles. Kyman has spent the past 20 years monetizing TV, theatrical and gaming properties for Sony Pictures Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox and Rovio Entertainment. Kyman will be working with Jones to develop consumer products, location-based entertainment and media licensing opportunities for Asmodee Games' renowned portfolio.
So, Summoner Wars: The Movie? It couldn't be worse than the Battleship movie, could it?