Front Page

Content

Authors

Game Index

Forums

Site Tools

Submissions

About

You May Also Like...

U
ubarose
July 20, 2020
E
Ecassidy
May 05, 2020
U
ubarose
April 27, 2020
U
ubarose
February 28, 2020
U
ubarose
January 08, 2020

Asmodee Acquires Board Game Arena

U Updated
Asmodee Acquires Board Game Arena
There Will Be Games

(GUYANCOURT, FRANCE) FEBRUARY 11, 2021 - Asmodee announces the acquisition of Board Game Arena (BGA), the digital multiplayer board game platform, to provide BGA with high visibility among the consumer market and accelerate the release of Asmodee’s long-awaited successes by players. 

Founded in 2010 by Grégory ISABELLI and Emmanuel COLIN, BGA has emerged as the global leader in online board games. The platform provides official online versions of more than 250 games, supported on 40 languages, to more than 5 million members around the world. Within this very large and regularly updated catalog, there are hits from Asmodee such as Carcassonne (published by Hans Im Glück and Asmodee), Jaipur or 7 Wonders, of which more than 4 million online games have been played since its release on the platform in 2018.

Since its creation, BGA has seen continuous growth, thanks to the commitment of gaming communities and has registered a 600% growth in 2020, a sign of the craze for board games, whether with family or remotely. To support its growth and pursue its development, BGA’s management team has chosen to join Asmodee. Indeed, the two companies have known each other for a long time, and this natural move will allow Asmodee to speed up the availability of its key titles on the platform. 

Grégory Isabelli et Emmanuel Colin, BGA cofounders, comment: « Working with Asmodee allows us to continue our massive growth, with a partner that shares our love and passion for board gaming. Asmodee fulfills a sine qua non criteria for us: that BGA is always run by absolute board game fans whose core business is board game. "

“Our growth is based on one crucial commitment: offer the best gaming experience to consumers and bring our brands to the widest audience”, said Thomas Koegler, Head of Strategy at Asmodee. “Having a platform that allows players from all over the world to meet, play their favorite games together or discover new games is a natural fit alongside our amazing catalogue of board games. Skull and Splendor will be in the coming weeks the first of a long list of Asmodee releases on the platform: we hope that players will enjoy them!”

As with other Asmodee entities, BGA will remain completely independent, and current management will remain at its helm. Pricing policies and editorial line remain unchanged, with BGA continuing, as always, to rely solely on the quality and popularity of games, offering its services to all publishers and market players.  
 



About Asmodee

Asmodee Group is a leading international games publisher and distributor with operations located in Europe, North America, and China. Asmodee’s best known titles, either published or distributed on behalf of key publishing partners, include Catan, Ticket to Ride, Splendor, Dobble/Spot it!, Star Wars: X-Wing, 7 Wonders, Dixit, Timeline, Unlock!, The Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow. In some European countries, Asmodee also distributes trading card games such as Pokemon, Magic, Yu-Gi-Oh! Asmodee has headquarters in Guyancourt, France.

There Will Be Games
Log in to comment

jpat's Avatar
jpat replied the topic: #319109 11 Feb 2021 12:22
Blech.
Gary Sax's Avatar
Gary Sax replied the topic: #319112 11 Feb 2021 12:52
This makes sense. I can only hope they make it better, I guess.

Expect a lot more aggressive tabletop simulator pirate mod enforcement, I'm sure.
DarthJoJo's Avatar
DarthJoJo replied the topic: #319114 11 Feb 2021 12:57
Over or under two months for Asmodee to entirely alienate the BGA user base?
boothwah's Avatar
boothwah replied the topic: #319115 11 Feb 2021 13:08
That sucks.
Sagrilarus's Avatar
Sagrilarus replied the topic: #319118 11 Feb 2021 13:20
As if there isn't enough bad news these days, you had to show us this?
Msample's Avatar
Msample replied the topic: #319121 11 Feb 2021 13:34

Gary Sax wrote: This makes sense. I can only hope they make it better, I guess.

Expect a lot more aggressive tabletop simulator pirate mod enforcement, I'm sure.


I've always been shocked at how much they've gotten away with as it is given some of the IPs like Star Wars and Tolkien that are on there.

If this acquisition means more Asmodee stuff gets on BGA I'm for it.
Shellhead's Avatar
Shellhead replied the topic: #319124 11 Feb 2021 13:43
Maybe they could also playtest some of their games more easily using that interface.
charlest's Avatar
charlest replied the topic: #319129 11 Feb 2021 14:15
There are some interesting posts on reddit concerning this.

intelekt
1h
Designer and Publisher of a game on BGA here - I have some real issues with how this was communicated and implemented. As publishers, we were given no warning about this. I woke up this morning to see a royalty-free license I'd extended to a small start-up of 2 people is now being transferred to a 1.3 billion dollar entity without any negotiation period or right of refusal.

I'm in email chats with BGA ownership now asking about how this is going to be remedied. I certainly don't intend to extend the courtesy of a "free" license to a 1.3 billion dollar entity (my small publishing company is worth 200K, at best). I have to assume other publishers also aren't thrilled about giving one of the largest competitors in the industry, free content. As of right now, the optics seem to me to be, "we sourced lots of volunteer work and free royalties, sold it to Asmodee, and will now solely be paid, we didn't even consider those of you whose content we/they make money off of".

I've asked that the BGA ownership come up with a reasonable royalty structure for all games on the platform in light of this purchase. If they are unwilling to do so, there are a number of options and other platforms we'd consider.

intelekt

9m

So far the ownership of BGA has responded with "We can remove your games from the platform but we won't even attempt to pay royalties nor ask Asmodee to pay them".

Sad to see they've already adopted the corporate demeanor after getting paid. Very likely moving my titles to Yucata unless they change their tune. I urge other publishers to remove their titles, we shouldn't be driving money into the pocket of a 1.3 billion dollar investment firm when most of us are small publishing houses with real cashflow concerns.

thebosz
Running
1h
As someone who has voluntarily developed a game for BGA (Eminent Domain: Microcosm), I can tell you one thing: there's no way I would ever freely give my time and skills to Asmodee.

Gary Sax's Avatar
Gary Sax replied the topic: #319130 11 Feb 2021 14:19
Oh YIKES, thanks for that context.
Ah_Pook's Avatar
Ah_Pook replied the topic: #319132 11 Feb 2021 14:35
It already felt bad but those posts really drive it home. I would have to assume BGA will become an asmodee exclusive shop pretty quickly.
Gary Sax's Avatar
Gary Sax replied the topic: #319133 11 Feb 2021 14:38
Trying to wrap my head around designing something for BGA for free and then having that transfer to Asmodee to make money. Really, really bad.
Msample's Avatar
Msample replied the topic: #319134 11 Feb 2021 14:45
I imagine Asmodee is aware of the possibility of some companies yanking their games off the BGA platform. To them, the existing userbase is probably more valuable an asset than the actual game files on the site. Some games they might even pay some royalties on, who knows. I am sure they now have access to data that shows exactly what titles bring in the most traffic. In perusing the BGA library, the vast majority of the titles seem to be of the light Euro variety . How many are existing Asmodee brands I am not sure, I can't keep up with who they own these days. But the userbase is just as valuable an asset I'd bet .
WadeMonnig's Avatar
WadeMonnig replied the topic: #319137 11 Feb 2021 15:29
When Silicon Magazine was sold,
They bought the mailing list/database and threw out the actual Magazine. Sure, this was pre full on Facebook era of data mining but it seems to fit the same thought process at first glance.
Sagrilarus's Avatar
Sagrilarus replied the topic: #319139 11 Feb 2021 15:35

WadeMonnig wrote: When Silicon Magazine was sold,
They bought the mailing list/database and threw out the actual Magazine. Sure, this was pre full on Facebook era of data mining but it seems to fit the same thought process at first glance.


This is why Verizon bought Yahoo as well.

When I read the title of this thread my first thought was "all the games I play on it are going to be gone in a couple of weeks."

Asmodee is the 300 pound bully that shows up at every party shortly after you arrive.
Shellhead's Avatar
Shellhead replied the topic: #319140 11 Feb 2021 15:49
BGA was charging users to play before this deal, right? The press release indicates no change in pricing. And it sounds like designers and publishers weren't getting paid before this deal, just like they won't be getting paid now. So what is the specific complaint here? They didn't mind lack of payment by BGA but they are suddenly unhappy that the lack of payment will continue under Asmodee?
Gary Sax's Avatar
Gary Sax replied the topic: #319141 11 Feb 2021 15:52
Some people are willing to let people play their games if it's a small mom and pop service without royalties that probably wasn't in a great position to pay you. But wouldn't feel so charitable if it's a giant company who can *obviously* pay. Personal thing. I'd probably feel that way. But yeah, from an "economic rationality" angle it probably shouldn't matter.
Sagrilarus's Avatar
Sagrilarus replied the topic: #319143 11 Feb 2021 15:57
It's $24 a year for anyone interested in getting a few extra features, audio and video chatting and access to some new or hot games early. But you only need one person to have it per game. So it generates a revenue.

I'm more concerned that a lot of designers will pull their stuff or (and fairly enough) request a few bucks from the monster investment firm that just bought their stuff.

A lot of volunteer hours went into building it, but that's all part and parcel. The owners are entitled to sell their creation to whomever they want as long as a government entity or two agrees.

It's just that it's Asmodee's party, again, and we're along for the ride.

I hate it when my hobby becomes popular.
thegiantbrain's Avatar
thegiantbrain replied the topic: #319148 11 Feb 2021 16:33
I'm in the process of setting up an interview for inclusion on the next cast.
Gary Sax's Avatar
Gary Sax replied the topic: #319151 11 Feb 2021 17:10
Oh, awesome.
Greg Aleknevicus's Avatar
Greg Aleknevicus replied the topic: #319154 11 Feb 2021 21:06
I'm concerned that Asmodee will ruin what has quickly become a source of great enjoyment for me. When has a buyout ever helped the users?

In any case, I'm trying to remain optimistic. It's possible that this will allow some games to appear on BGA that otherwise wouldn't: Catan and Ticket to Ride spring to mind.

I'm unconcerned about a price increase -- $2US/month is ridiculously cheap. I'd happily pay $10US/month and still call it a bargain.
Sagrilarus's Avatar
Sagrilarus replied the topic: #319157 11 Feb 2021 22:28
I think a price increase is good for the industry. That's what people always tell me when Asmodee buys something, so it must be true.
the_jake_1973's Avatar
the_jake_1973 replied the topic: #319163 12 Feb 2021 08:53

Greg Aleknevicus wrote: I'm concerned that Asmodee will ruin what has quickly become a source of great enjoyment for me. When has a buyout ever helped the users?

In any case, I'm trying to remain optimistic. It's possible that this will allow some games to appear on BGA that otherwise wouldn't: Catan and Ticket to Ride spring to mind.

I'm unconcerned about a price increase -- $2US/month is ridiculously cheap. I'd happily pay $10US/month and still call it a bargain.


According to an article on Dicebreaker, Skull and Splendor will be launching in a couple of weeks on BGA. Catan, TtR and Pandemic are slated to be brought on as well.
ratpfink's Avatar
ratpfink replied the topic: #319164 12 Feb 2021 09:30
Might turn out ok. I'd expect we should see an even larger increase in user base if/when the really big Asmodee games get on BGA. That... sort of helps designers/devs of lesser known games, I think? BGA sort of encourages you to play a variety of games to earn "BGA gold" so might lead to some more exposure for lesser known titles. Totally get why designers wouldn't want to give away royalty-free access to their IP though.

Makes sense for the two owners of BGA to do this from a continuity perspective. They probably don't want to run the site forever but would like it to continue to exist when its time for them to move on to something else. Putting a business into corporate ownership often seems like the best move there.

If I had to predict, in 4-5 months we'll see some changes into how Asmodee can monetize this outside of just current premium memberships. Maybe that's just raising the price, but could be other things... ads, multiple tiers of membership, making the free memberhsip access suck, who knows... what if every physical copy of a game came with 3 months of BGA premium membership or something?
DarthJoJo's Avatar
DarthJoJo replied the topic: #319168 12 Feb 2021 10:41
That would be wonderful if that’s how this all shakes out, but Asmodee’s history of how it treats its acquisitions doesn’t give me much hope. Asmodee, at least in the example of Fantasy Flight, hasn’t shown a desire to increase profit through investment but through cost reductions and consolidations. Its biggest moves have been eliminating departments, shifting product lines to different companies and regular mass layoffs every six months or so.

And what new games have we seen in that time? Arkham Horror Final Hour? Star Wars Outer Rim? Marvel Champions? I don’t think any of these are bad games, but they’re safe plays. Fantasy Flight used to fart three games of this ambition out a year. The In-Flight Report used to be something to look forward to. The last two years have been “That’s it?” It’s telling that the last interesting things Fantasy Flight did, namely Keyforge and Discover Lands Unknown were the last games Christian Petersen shepherded.

Why should we expect anything different with Board Game Arena? We should probably be happy if they only keep the same number of games available with the same quality of play while jacking up memberships to $10 a month, but somehow the site will be demonstrably worse despite a presumably larger staff and bigger budget.
themothman421's Avatar
themothman421 replied the topic: #319170 12 Feb 2021 11:06
Pour one out for BGA.

So totally unrelated but...what are people’s favorite implementations of Asmodee-owned games on Tabletop Simulator?? Kinda feel like downloading some, sooner than later...