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Subject: Asmodée buys out Fantasy Flight Games? rss

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Dom
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posted on the facebook on a French store that apparently got a press release about it


can't vouch for the veracity or exactitude
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Dan Gillette
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Terrible news if true, though I have my doubts.

Edit: Well it turns out that it's true. This is a sad day indeed.
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Matthew Vantries
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Well, it's on the front page of FFGs site, so I'd say it's probably true.
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Marty Sample
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I'd be skeptical. A quick Google search came up blank.

Edit: Wow.

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=5212
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http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=5212

FANTASY FLIGHT GAMES® TO MERGE INTO ASMODEE GROUP™

Paris, France; Roseville MN, November 17th, 2014. Today, Asmodee – a leading international publisher and distributor – and Fantasy Flight Games – a worldwide recognized hobby games publisher – proudly announced the pending merger of the two companies. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Asmodee Group of game companies will gain access to Fantasy Flight Games’ strong sales, operational and marketing infrastructure in North America, as well as Fantasy Flight Games’ almost-20 years of expertise in game development and multi-language game manufacturing.

Fantasy Flight Games will benefit from Asmodee’s impressive distribution and marketing reach in Europe, greatly improving its product placement and organized play initiatives across the continent.

“I am delighted to welcome Christian and his team to the Asmodee Group,” said Stéphane Carville, CEO of Asmodee Group. “Fantasy Flight Games is a highly reputed publisher within the gaming community. It has demonstrated its ability to create great games and to establish fantastic relationships within the hobby games market and large entertainment companies. Together, we will continue to bring unique, innovative and high-quality games to gamers worldwide.”

“Fantasy Flight Games has enjoyed tremendous growth over the last 10 years,” said Christian T. Petersen, CEO and founder of Fantasy Flight Games. “By joining forces with Asmodee, we’ll be able to continue that growth, expand our international marketing capabilities, and create additional career opportunities for our terrific staff. Most importantly, we can do this while staying true to our vision of creating great products for the global hobby games market.”

Fantasy Flight Games will continue to operate out of its Roseville, MN headquarters, where its hardworking creative teams will keep creating those ambitious and narrative hobby games experiences for which Fantasy Flight Games has become known. Christian T. Petersen will continue as the CEO of Fantasy Flight Games while also becoming a significant shareholder of the combined entity. No staffing changes are anticipated.

Asmodee and Fantasy Flight Games Merger Q&A

A few questions related to the Asmodee and Fantasy Flight Games (“FFG”) merger have been anticipated below.

How will FFG’s and Asmodee’s product lines be affected?

FFG’s new and existing product lines will continue to be developed by FFG and sold under the FFG logo. FFG will stay a fully independent publisher in the Asmodee Group, and intends to keep creating the best games possible. A few of FFG’s products, whose identity may be deemed a better fit under a different Asmodee Group brand, may transition within the group.

Similarly, Asmodee’s existing and new products will continue to be developed by Asmodee’s creative staff and/or affiliate studios, and published under the Asmodee, or the independent studios’, logo. Those Asmodee games deemed a great fit for FFG may transition to FFG’s catalog.

The Asmodee Group has close business ties with a number of important board game publishers, such as Repos, Matagot, Ystari and others. How will the merger impact those relationships?

The union gives Asmodee and its partners access to FFG’s strong logistical and operational presence in North America, as well as access to FFG’s proprietary development tools and manufacturing infrastructure. Beyond those advantages, the identity, product development, marketing (such as website and convention presence) and sales representation of Asmodee’s close publishing partners will be unaffected.

FFG has many important intellectual property licenses. How will these be affected, and will other Asmodee partners and affiliates be able to take advantage of those licenses?

FFG expects to retain all of its licensing relationships, and will work with both Asmodee and its licensors to extend licensing potential to those parts of the Asmodee Group that makes sense for the overall product strategy and the individual license.

How will North American hobby market retailers and distributors be affected by this merger?

There are no immediate plans to change any of FFG’s or Asmodee’s hobby market retailer or distributor relationships in North America.

Most game retailers outside the U.S.A purchase FFG’s product from international distributors, many of whom translate and publish FFG’s product in their local languages. How will these distributors work with the combined entity?

For the foreseeable future, it is anticipated that current and upcoming FFG products will continue to be localized and sold by FFG’s existing international partners. Asmodee intends to work with those same distributors to broaden product availability, marketing presence, and organized play support where possible.

When should international players expect to see improvements to FFG’s organized play programs?

While incremental progress will happen sooner, players should expect that it will take more than a year for all intended improvements to be implemented.

About Fantasy Flight Games and the Asmodee Group

Fantasy Flight Games is a leading hobby games market publisher in the board, card, roleplaying, and miniature game categories. Fantasy Flight Games’ best-known titles include games based on licenses such as Battlestar Galactica, The Lord of the Rings, Sid Meier’s Civilization, and Star Wars, as well as proprietary titles such as Arkham Horror and Descent: Journeys in the Dark. Fantasy Flight Games’ principal executive offices are located at 1995 County Road B-2 West, St. Paul, MN 55113, United States of America.

Asmodee Group is a leading international games publisher and distributor with operations located in Europe, the United States, and China. Asmodee’s best known titles, either published or distributed on behalf of key publishing partners, include Ticket to Ride, Splendor, 7 Wonders, Dixit, Takenoko, Abyss, Timeline, Dobble, Jungle Speed, and Werewolves of Millers Hollow. In some European countries, Asmodee distributes also trading card games such as Pokemon, Magic, Yu-Gi-Oh!. Asmodee’s head office is located at 18 rue Jacqueline Auriol, 78041 Guyancourt France.
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Jacob Tierney
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Wow. Days of Wonder, now FFG? Did anyone see this coming?
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Jefferson Krogh
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Dude. Whoa. wow
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Xander Fulton
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Yeah, this news, just...dayum.

Press release goes on and on about how nothing will really change, but I suspect we all know better than that.

Not happy...
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Andy Mills
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XanderF wrote:
Yeah, this news, just...dayum.

Press release goes on and on about how nothing will really change, but I suspect we all know better than that.

Not happy...


What changes are you worried about?
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I hope Asmodee ends up more like Fantasy Flight instead of the other way around....
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Can someone enlighten me on how this is bad?
(Serious question I am clueless about these things)
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Aleksandar Licul
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I hope that licenses for German versions of FFG games that Heidelberger Spieleverlag holds will remain. I still need to complete my Arkham Horror line.
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manydills wrote:
XanderF wrote:
Yeah, this news, just...dayum.

Press release goes on and on about how nothing will really change, but I suspect we all know better than that.

Not happy...


What changes are you worried about?


When a company starts gobbling up other companies in order to expand its list of "brands" it manages (like, say, 'Star Wars' or 'Game of Thrones'), the immediate next step most executives take is to try to get as much value from the acquisition as possible by asking questions like 'what can we do to get these brands into more homes?'

The obvious answer being things like - 'make it collectible!' or 'reduce the complexity of the rules!'

Maybe I'm being overly pessimistic, but given this is the second such merger in only a couple months ('Days of Wonder' was only just acquired in August), the feel I'd get is that Asmodee has a bunch of capital and are looking to aggressively expand their business to take on the Hasbro- and Mattel- scale companies (and we well know the focus on quality vs quantity THOSE businesses have made to reach their market share). Of course, as an old-school wargamer, the spectre of Hasborg's handling of Avalon Hill upon buying it (nothing will change! Honest!!) still rings a bit loudly.
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Shawn Harriman
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All I want to know is .....



Does this increase or decrease the value of my coveted copy of GolfMania?

Interesting to me, I have an optimistic opinion that this kind of merger across the pond could be a positive.

If both work together well they could broaden and improve both, if one absorbs the other (yeah I know) there will be change.

I like both companies.
Fingers crossedcool
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XanderF wrote:
manydills wrote:
XanderF wrote:
Yeah, this news, just...dayum.

Press release goes on and on about how nothing will really change, but I suspect we all know better than that.

Not happy...


What changes are you worried about?


When a company starts gobbling up other companies in order to expand its list of "brands" it manages (like, say, 'Star Wars' or 'Game of Thrones'), the immediate next step most executives take is to try to get as much value from the acquisition as possible by asking questions like 'what can we do to get these brands into more homes?'

The obvious answer being things like - 'make it collectible!' or 'reduce the complexity of the rules!'

Maybe I'm being overly pessimistic, but given this is the second such merger in only a couple months ('Days of Wonder' was only just acquired in August), the feel I'd get is that Asmodee has a bunch of capital and are looking to aggressively expand their business to take on the Hasbro- and Mattel- scale companies

Good.
F*** hasbro & mattel. It's about time a mega- hobby gaming company becomes powerful enough to take them on.

If that takes a combo company I'm ok with it. Honestly I see nothing immediately wrong with this merger. Good for FFG. Good for asmodee.
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XanderF wrote:
the spectre of Hasborg's handling of Avalon Hill upon buying it (nothing will change! Honest!!) still rings a bit loudly.
Does this mean that you will now call Asmodée "Asmodórg?"
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Wonder how/if the recent announcement of "rotation" in the FFG LCGs plays into this?
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I think this looks like a good merger. The comparison with Avalon Hill and Hasbro is not really very relevant. Avalon Hill was a failing business that needed buying out. I view the Asmodee/FFG merger more in terms of improving global reach for both brands. FFG's CEO isn't changing, that's a big indicator of direction right there.

Of course, anything can happen in the future, but, from what we know, this doesn't look like a very disruptive change.
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As a general rule I dislike mergers and acquisitions. Asmodee has a lot of great games though and it seems like FFG won't be affected. It sounds good on paper, but it usually never ends up being that way.

So I'm skeptical, but I hope they do what they say. Asmodee could make FFG's games way better distributed in Europe and actually I don't see a benefit in the US, but its probably there. I buy a ton of games from FFG and a decent amount from Asmodee so I'm more concerned with FFG's lines and releases.
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I'm really really hoping this ends up being like the purchases of craft breweries that AB-InBev has made. Not all of them have been good, but a few have been a very positive thing for the craft brewery.

Example: Goose Island is a Chicago area brewery that makes some rather largely distributed varieties (312, Honker's Ale, IPA) and also so very good limited release stuff. A few years back they were bought by AB-InBev and it was doom and gloom in the craft beer world. For the most part, what ended up happening was the big guys took over production and distribution of the mass produced stuff freeing up brewing capacity for the GI guys to make more of the limited stuff. Among other things, the merger let them triple their barrel aging space and build a separate facility for a sour beer program.

What this (hopefully) means in the board gaming world is that FFG gets a lot of money from expanded distribution and no longer has to spend as much time worrying about the distribution end, and can focus on making games, both a bigger variety and maintaining quality. This is especially good for popular titles like Descent or Arkham where FFG should no longer have to spend time and resources worrying about getting copies from the factory to the people. For the most part of course.
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Olvenskol wrote:
I think this looks like a good merger. The comparison with Avalon Hill and Hasbro is not really very relevant. Avalon Hill was a failing business that needed buying out. I view the Asmodee/FFG merger more in terms of improving global reach for both brands. FFG's CEO isn't changing, that's a big indicator of direction right there.


CEO isn't changing, but he's becoming a 'significant shareholder of the combined entity'. IE., Asmodee bought FFG (with stock, granted, but they were still the ones 'doing the buying' - so it's a merger in name, only)

So, I dunno. If nobody intended for anything to change, why buy out a company? "Access to the distribution network" hardly passes a smell test - companies can trivially arrange that degree of cooperation without buying each other.

I think the line: "A few of FFG’s products, whose identity may be deemed a better fit under a different Asmodee Group brand, may transition within the group."

...may be telling the bulk of the story.
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XanderF wrote:
Olvenskol wrote:
I think this looks like a good merger. The comparison with Avalon Hill and Hasbro is not really very relevant. Avalon Hill was a failing business that needed buying out. I view the Asmodee/FFG merger more in terms of improving global reach for both brands. FFG's CEO isn't changing, that's a big indicator of direction right there.


CEO isn't changing, but he's becoming a 'significant shareholder of the combined entity'. IE., Asmodee bought FFG (with stock, granted, but they were still the ones 'doing the buying' - so it's a merger in name, only)

So, I dunno. If nobody intended for anything to change, why buy out a company? "Access to the distribution network" hardly passes a smell test - companies can trivially arrange that degree of cooperation without buying each other.

I think the line: "A few of FFG’s products, whose identity may be deemed a better fit under a different Asmodee Group brand, may transition within the group."

...may be telling the bulk of the story.


Of course it also says that some Asmodee titles will transfer to FFG.
 
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fh13 wrote:
Wonder how/if the recent announcement of "rotation" in the FFG LCGs plays into this?

The rotation should have happened years ago. That is one thing magic has right.
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Bill Solt
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When Asmodee bought Days of Wonder, I was able to finally get Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 3 – The Heart of Africa. Now that they bought Fantasy Flight, I may be able to get Fury of Dracula (second edition).
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