The Asmodee Group, a board game publishing company located in France, has acquired the rights to publish, market, and perform branding activities for all English versions of the popular Settlers of Catan board game. The original rightsholder, Mayfair Games, will continue to publish and distribute Catan until the transition is complete. In the meantime, Asmodee will reorganize, creating an independent Catan Studio unit to oversee and develop Catan-related content and nurture the Catan community.
This latest acquisition by Asmodee makes them one of the largest specialty board game publishers out there. In addition to having the rights to Settlers of Catan, a board game that has sold over 23 million copies if you include the expansions over the past 20 years, Asmodee also owns Days of Wonder through a merger in 2014 as well as Fantasy Flight Games which it also acquired in 2014. Days of Wonder is best known for the popular board games Ticket to Ride and Small World while Fantasy Flight Games has the rights to the Star Wars line of board games, including Imperial Assault, X-Wing Miniatures and Armada, Battlestar Galactica, and the Android Netrunner Living Card Game.
All of these acquisitions have borne fruit as international sales have climbed from 48% in 2013 to 67% in 2015. On top of that, 30% of those international sales have been coming from the US.
So even though things bode well for Asmodee, the bigger question hanging over the air is how all of this will tie into their announcement last month when they said that they would be revising their sales policies, particularly when it comes to online versus brick and mortar retailers. Beyond press release vagaries, there’s nothing concrete, but it’s enough to worry some board game enthusiasts about the price increases to come once the policy is implemented in April.
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