Category Archives: Business

Jim Butler Named Paizo President

Jim Butler

Paizo Publishing has announced that Jeff Alvarez has stepped down as president due to health reasons. Paizo has named Vice President of Marketing and Licensing, Jim Butler, as its new president. 

Jim brings decades of gaming experience to his new role, including serving as Paizo’s vice president of marketing and licensing over the last five years. Before Paizo, he has worked at TSR, Wizards of the Coast, Warner Bros./Turbine, and Trion Worlds. 

Jim lives in Redmond, WA with his husband, Matthew, and their fur-kids: Toker, Stella, and Skylar. He’s currently playing through volume 5 of the Pathfinder Return of the Runelords Adventure Path as a kobold druid and GMing the Extinction Curse Adventure Path for Pathfinder Second Edition.

Asmodee USA will Distribute Para Bellum Games’ Conquest Line of Miniatures

Para Bellum Games

Asmodee USA has announced they will distribute Para Bellum Games’ high-quality tabletop miniatures game line Conquest.

The Conquest miniatures line was built around three points to help the game stand out in the market: miniature detail, rules, and lore built around the world of Eä. The miniatures for Conquest have an amazing level of detail that is sure to please gamers and painting hobbyists. The Para Bellum crew stays updated on current industry trends. All items are developed and produced in the EU Or the US using unique methods of design and production to achieve this high level of quality.

Players will find the rules quick and easy to learn while still offering veteran players layers of strategy. Additionally, all miniatures can be used with their two rule sets: Conquest – The Last Argument of Kings, a mass battle wargame, and Conquest: First Blood, a thrilling skirmish-style game. No matter the Conquest game played, players will find themselves immersed in a deep, mature world. The world of Conquest continues to evolve thanks to player participation in the Conquest: Living World and organized play supported by their system of volunteers called Vanguards.

The Conquest line of miniatures will be available through Asmodee USA this spring, including the brand-new faction, The Old Dominion. This is the 6th faction for Conquest and features the game’s unique look at an army in the style of the Roman Undead. This series will not only have an amazing aesthetic, but they will also bring new rules mastery to create exciting gameplay opportunities.

Paizo and Gale Force Nine Announce Boardgame Partnership with Three Games Announced

Pathfinder: Level 20

Gale Force Nine (GF9) has teamed up with Paizo to publish original board and card games drawing from the worlds of Pathfinder and Starfinder. The multi-year partnership will see GF9 exploring the rich settings of Golarion, the Pact Worlds, and beyond to bring the heroes, villains, locations, and monsters from the roleplaying games into several new board games.

Starting in Q2 2022, Gale Force Nine will release two board games and one card game over the first year of the partnership, with more following over the course of the relationship. The first three titles are:

  • Pathfinder: Level 20 (Q2 2022)
  • Starfinder: Pirates of Skydock (Q3 2022)
  • Pathfinder: Tall Tales (Q4 2022)

Pathfinder: Level 20

The first game of this partnership, releasing in Q2 2022, is Pathfinder: Level 20, a game where the players take on the role of kobolds in their warren scampering away from a 19th-level adventurer who only needs five XP to hit level 20.

Will you make the heroes scamper away in embarrassment, thus being crowned the kobold champion? Or will you be the last survivor among your friends, a victory in its own right?

Pathfinder: Level 20 is a 2–6 player game and will be available in April with an MSRP of $30.

Pathfinder: Level 20

Embracer Groups Announces Intent to Acquire Asmodee for €2.75 billion

Asmodee

Rumors have persisted for months that Asmodee has been looking for a buyer and it looks like they have found one in the Embracer Group.

The deal would be about €2.75 billion with €350 million paid to the main shareholder PAI and others with $2.4 billion in cash and debt refinancing.

Asmodee would still operate on its own with no reorganization expected.

Embracer Group is the parent company of 86 video game development studios representing over 250 IPs in over 40 countries. Studios include THQ Nordic, Gearbox Entertainment, and others with properties such as Saints Row, Dead Island, Darksiders, Timesplitters, World War Z, and Borderlands.

The purchase of Asmodee would give Embracer Group access to a massive amount of more IP to develop as video games, movies, and television, as well as an avenue to take their current IP and bring it to the board game market.

Asmodee includes numerous game studios such as Atomic Mass Games, CATAN Studio, Z-Man Games, and Fantasy Flight Games, and games such as Pandemic, CATAN, Ticket to Ride, Dead of Winter, Spot It!, and many more.

The acquisition would have a major impact not just on the board game industry but the video game industry as well.

Asmodee Entertainment Announces a Partnership with SD Toys for Jigsaw Puzzles

Arkham Horror jigsaw puzzle

SD Toys and Asmodee Entertainment have entered a licensing partnership to produce jigsaw puzzles for some of their largest IPs Dobble, Legend of the Five RingsTerrinoth: LegendsTwilight ImperiumArkham Horror, and KeyForge. This partnership is an example of Asmodee Entertainment’s push to expand its merchandise partnerships.

Featuring iconic artwork from some of Fantasy Flight Games and Zygomatic’s most popular games, jigsaw puzzles are in development for the mysterious, macabre Arkham Horror, the fantastical world of Terrinoth: Legends, the mystical, eastern-inspired Legend of the Five Rings, epic space opera Twilight Imperium, the colorful, madcap KeyForge and family gaming superhit Dobble. This release will mark the first time the beautiful and expansive universes of Legend of the Five RingsTerrinoth: LegendsTwilight ImperiumArkham Horror, and KeyForge will be represented as jig-saw puzzles. Allowing fans to engage with their favorite games in a new way!

Due for release in 2022 throughout Europe and the UK, stay tuned for more details!

Paizo Expands its Leadership Team adding Mike Webb and Jim Butler

CEO Lisa Stevens recently expanded the Paizo Leadership Team to include industry veterans Mike Webb and Jim Butler. Mike and Jim join Jeff Alvarez, Erik Mona, Lisa Stevens, and David Reuland as they work together to chart Paizo’s future. The additions were made as CEO Lisa Stevens steps back from day-to-day operations.

Jim Butler began working in the industry as an editor and game designer for TSR, eventually moving to Seattle with Wizards of the Coast where he worked alongside Lisa Stevens on the brand team for Dungeons & Dragons. Jim founded Bastion Press before working for Turbine/WB Games on Dungeons & Dragons Online and The Lord of the Rings Online. He then worked for Trion Worlds as Director of Global Marketing for RIFT and other MMOs.He completed the circle in 2017 when he returned to Seattle to work for Paizo as Vice President of Marketing and Licensing. He lives in Redmond with his husband Matthew and their furkids (Toker, Stella, and Skylar).

Mike Webb has been a role player since 1980, and made his living in the industry since 1997, when he joined Zocchi Distributing as Vice President and General Manager. In 2000, he joined the crew of Alliance Game Distributors as Vice President of Customer Service and Marketing, where he led innovative and national award winning in-store promotions and marketing programs. He has been active in the community, serving 14 years on the Game Manufacturers Association Board of Directors, and running miniature games and rpgs at local and nationwide conventions. An avid fan of Pathfinder from the beginning, Mike joined the Paizo team in July 2021. Mike lives in Decatur, Indiana where he runs a weekly Pathfinder game for his high school son.

Games Publisher 93 Made Games Expands Into Indie Distribution

Indie Games United

Tabletop games publisher 93 Made Games has announced the launch of its new distribution service dedicated to promoting and selling independently designed and published tabletop games. The new division of its business, Indie Games United, provides a reliable pathway for independent designers and publishers to have their games marketed and sold to a much wider audience. The service will also provide retailers with a broad catalog of high-quality and novel games that would not normally be available through traditional distribution services.

Besides publishing and distributing tabletop games, Head of Design and Publishing Sean Carroll and Head of Sales and Marketing Anthony Condos have designed and developed a myriad of games including No Fish!Monster Town and the Viewniverse episodic card games series. Indie Games United will also leverage the pair’s game design talents to benefit other creators via a range of support services provide through the company’s Incubator Program.

Maestro Media Partners teams with All About Games for Global Expansion

Maestro Media All About Games

Today, Maestro Media has announced its partnership with All About Games. All About Games will help expand Maestro Media’s international reach, sales, localization, manufacturing, distribution, as well as further scaling the company for a greater impact. Maestro Media is a full-service strategic product and business development firm specializing in tabletop publishing. All About Games is a consulting company dedicated to international tabletop and board game markets.

All About Games initially partnered with Maestro Media to help source localization partners for Maestro’s massively successful The Binding of Isaac: Four Souls Requiem Kickstarter campaign, which generated over $6.7 million, becoming one of the top twenty performing Kickstarter campaigns of all time. All About Games secured placement of the game in eleven territories, generating an additional $1 million in sales. Due to the massive success of that initial partnership, Maestro Media and All About Games have decided to expand the partnership to help continue Maestro’s international growth and expansion.

The partnership will focus on the international expansion of Maestro Media through marketing growth as well as strategizing and executing global manufacturing and distribution of Maestro’s games catalogue. As part of its upcoming slate of projects, Maestro Media will work in conjunction with All About Games to continue to expand popular game IPs, including Umbrella Academy, Tapeworm, Sugar Heist, and The Binding of Isaac, with many more in the works. The Binding of Isaac: Four Souls Requiem is set to release in 2022.

NYCC 2021: Millimages and Ox Eye Media expand Molang into Board Games

Ox Eye Media has partnered with French animation studio Millimages to expand the popular character Molang into a series of comic books, board games and puzzles in 2022.

Originally created as an online emoticon in 2010 by South Korean illustrator Hye-Ji Yoon, a chance encounter between Hye-Ji and Millimages resulted in a Molang animated television series. The series became an overnight hit, broadcasted in over 190 territories.

Radiating kawaii cuteness, Molang is all about friendship, spreading love, happiness, and positivity. Molang has no nationality, is ageless and gender-neutral, and values taking care of the planet. Now, Molang’s universal language of good vibes will be felt in comics, games, and puzzles.

Molang

Is Asmodee for Sale for 2 Billion Euros?

Asmodee logo

Rumors have swirled for some time that Asmodee‘s VC company PAI Partners has been looking to sell the board game company. The rumor has kicked up again due to reporting from Gus & Co. That site is reporting that PAI is looking to sell Asmodee for 2 billion Euros. They acquired the company in 2018 for 1.2 billion Euros from Eurazeo who purchased Asmodee in 2014 for 132 million Euros.

PAI Partners is reportedly working with Goldman Sachs and Natixis Partners to help sell the company.

The news and timing is an interesting one as the board game industry is booming with estimates it reached $11 billion in 2020 and $12 billion is projected for 2021. That’s a year-over-year increase of about $1 billion for the last three years. The industry is also looking to expand from the tabletop with licensing agreements for clothing, household items, entertainment, and more regularly being announced.

Asmodee is a juggernaut of the industry, the second-largest behind Hasbro. Fantasy Flight Games, Catan Studio, Days of Wonder, Z-Man Games are all part of the Asmodee umbrella covering games like Catan, Ticket to Ride, Pandemic, and more.

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