Asmodee is a French publisher of board games, card games and role-playing games (RPGs). Founded in 1995 to develop their own games and to publish and distribute for other smaller game developers, they have since acquired numerous other board game publishers, and as of 2018, has become the second-largest publisher of board games, following Hasbro.
Asmodée was founded in 1995 by Marc Nunès, with the idea to not only develop their own board games but to reach out to other smaller publishers of board games and offer to publish and distribute for them, primarily in France. One of the company's early successes was Jungle Speed, which they acquired in 1998 and promoted heavily to various toy stores and retail outlets in France, selling over 4 million copies. In 2003, the company obtained the rights to publish the French version of the Pokémon Trading Card Game, which further helped in their sales outreach.
Around 2007, Nunès decides to direct Asmodée towards more of the European and international market. The company gained a 40% investment from Montefiore Investment, which helped them to seek and acquire additional small publishers. Among acquisitions during this period include Esdevium, the largest hobby games distributor in the UK, in 2010.
In 2013, Asmodée was acquired by the French private equity firm Eurazeo for €143 million. Under ownership of Eurazeo, Asmodée became more active in its acquisitions of other board game publishers and developers.
Asmodée is currently distributing games under the imprints Descartes Editeur and Eurogames, acquired when they purchased Descartes. However, they have not used these imprints for any original publications since the purchase.
On January 2, 2017 Asmodée and the german board game publisher Heidelberger Spieleverlag announced their merger.
On January 3, 2017 it was announced that Asmodéé Editions has acquired the Spanish editor Edge Entertainment.
In January 2018, Asmodée announced they were acquiring Polish games publisher Rebel.
In October 2018, Asmodée announced the acquisition of European distributor ACD Blackfire Entertainment.
Eurazeo began searching for a potential buyer for Asmodée in early 2018, and announced by July 2018 that it was selling the company to another French private equity firm, PAI Partners at a price of about €1.2 billion.
Notable games published by Asmodée include:
- Ca$h 'n Gun$
- Dungeon Twister
- Formula De
- Ghost Stories
- Jungle Speed
- Liar's Dice
- The Werewolves of Millers Hollow
In addition to its physical publishing rights, Asmodee has begun developing video games based on their board game properties for personal computers and mobile gaming. Many of these games are built atop the software libraries that Days of Wonder had crafted for their digital version of Ticket to Ride. As of January 2017, the company has published digital versions of Mysterium and Potion Explosion in addition to existing titles published by their acquired companies. Philippe Dao, the chief marketing officer for Asmodee Digital, stated they anticipate to have 20 more games out by the end of 2017.
In October 2017, Asmodée and Fantasy Flight announced the formation of Fantasy Flight Interactive, a division of the merged companies to bring more of Fantasy Flight's physical board games to digital implementations.
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