Category Archives: Business

Gen Con 2022: Evil Genius Productions launches a 3rd party licensing program

Evil Genius Productions
Evil Genius Logo

Evil Genius Productions, the maker of the Everyday Heroes tabletop roleplaying game, has announced at Gen Con that it is launching a 3rd party licensing program allowing game publishers to create their own roleplaying adventures utilizing the Everyday Heroes rules system.

The program allows licensees to take advantage of the company’s Product Identity, published and in-development rules mechanics, and gives publishers the right to label their products as compatible with the Everyday Heroes system. There is a one-time application fee of $50.

This program aims to recreate the expansive publishing ecosystem that was based on d20 Modern. Over the years, d20 Modern spawned hundreds of amazing games such as Adamant’s Thrilling Tales (2005-2007) and Mars (2006-2007) line, Green Ronin’s varied d20 Modern rules and settings, which culminated in Damnation Decade (2006), and Mongoose’s new editions of the classic Macho Women with Guns (2003, 2005).”

Gaxx Worx, a new games publisher launched by Luke Gygax, has signed up to use Evil Genius’ 3rd party license to launch Strange & Grim. According to game designer, Matt Everhart, “Strange & Grim will be a campaign setting that combines the adventure and wartime elements of Hellboy/Indiana Jones plus the horror elements like the Void, Event Horizon.” The Kickstarter will launch in October 2022.

As part of this program, publishers can also opt into a co-marketing agreement. If elected, Evil Genius will promote its partner’s adventures to the Everyday Heroes customer base and sell the products on the e-commerce platform. Similar to other online marketplaces, Evil Genius will keep 30% of the sales price and offer the rest to the publisher. The application for the program can be found here.

Today, Evil Genius Productions also announced today it’s hiring of Owen KC Stephens as Editor-In-Chief. Mr. Stephens is a well-known developer who has worked at Wizards of the Coast, Paizo Publishing, and Green Ronin Publishing and worked extensively on the d20 Star Wars, d20 Modern, Everquest d20, Pathfinder, Starfinder, Freeport, and Fantasy AGE game lines. In addition to being Editor in Cheif, Owen KC Stephens will also be the lead writer for Kong: Skull Island.

Scout Comics and The OP partner for games based on Scout’s IP

Comic book publisher Scout Comics & Entertainment is partnering with board game and puzzle publisher Usaopoly (The Op). Under this partnership, The Op will have a first look at all Scout properties for development into board games.

Scout features over 275 titles in their comic catalog as well as numerous projects in development for television and film. The deal opens up an opportunity for The Op to expand their game titles and re-skin their classic and popular games. Currently, the publisher features licenses that involve Disney, Marvel, and more.

Scout Comics and The Op

Funko Acquires Mondo from Alamo Drafthouse

Mondo

Announced this morning, Funko, Inc. has purchased Mondo from Alamo Drafthouse. That adds even more to Funko’s portfolio which already includes figures, clothing, games, and more. Mondo was the division focused on screen-printed posters, vinyl soundtracks, and toy collectibles for Alamo.

This is a pretty big addition for Funko cementing the company further in the pop culture collectible space. Mondo has focused more on “high end” collectibles, something Funko has dipped its toes in but not a regular product vertical.

Mondo on the other hand has dipped its toes into board games and up to recently had a deal with Restoration Games with Unmatched, but the company has never completely focused on that vertical.

The acquisition adds about 30 Mondo employees to the Funko team. The financial terms have not been disclosed. Funko has said it doesn’t expect the acquisition to have an impact on the 2022 financial performance which indicates the amount isn’t massive.

Funko recently received investment to the tune of $263 million that involved a 25% stake in the company. They statements indicated that the investors saw massive growth for the company and this acquisition is likely a part of that vision.

ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE STATEMENT

When Mondo was first forming, back when it was a 25-square-foot retail space in the abandoned ticket booth of the original Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, we had one guiding principle: seek out amazing artists, let their imaginations run wild and unfettered, and together celebrate the movies we loved.

Driven by passion, Mondo’s core team of creatives transformed that small ticket booth into something none of us could have ever imagined. Nineteen years into the journey, I look back at the amazing body of work that Mondo has created in posters, soundtracks, and collectibles and am truly in awe. I couldn’t be more proud of the amazing team that has over and over again set a staggeringly high bar for imagination, quality, and beauty.

That said, the past two years have been brutal and harrowing at Alamo and Mondo. We filed bankruptcy and thankfully emerged from COVID in fighting shape, ready to continue our mission of being the best damn cinema that has ever or will ever exist. While we were closed, however, Mondo was our saving grace, the only facet of our business that kept the lights on.

Now, with the dark days behind us and each weekend bringing box office successes, Alamo is seizing opportunities to grow our cinema footprint with seven new locations across the country that have been announced recently and more to come. As the company resources are focused on this growth, we realized that perhaps a bold and exciting new chapter is about to begin for Mondo.

Over the past few months, we searched exhaustively to find a perfect partner who saw what was unique and special about Mondo and was in a position to meaningfully invest in Mondo, nurture the team, and further its reach and vision. Funko is exactly that unicorn.

The team that made Mondo amazing is staying together, making the transition to Funko, and will continue their same work with the same creative vision. I am super excited about the future plans I know about, and I’m sure I will soon marvel at the work that is not yet even a lightbulb spark.

I am very confident that in time folks will see this transition to Funko as nothing short of marvelous. I wish everyone on the Mondo team the absolute best and look forward to everything ahead, save the notable exception of the loss of my employee discount.

I offer my sincere thanks to the whole team for almost two decades of tireless dedication and craft. You have most certainly made my adult life a hell of a lot more beautiful.

Tim League
Alamo Drafthouse Founder & Executive Chairman and Mondo Co-Founder

MONDO STATEMENT

By now you may have heard that Mondo has a new parent company: Funko. Let’s talk about it.

For 20 years, we have poured our heart and souls into this weird little thing that Rob Jones and Tim League started in a closet in the corner of an Alamo Drafthouse lobby… then out of a closet underneath the seats of a Drafthouse auditorium (seriously). Eventually, we opened our own gallery space, and even started our own convention.

We have always loved following our passions and doing things our own way, and we’ll be forever thankful to the Alamo Drafthouse for supporting those passions and helping us grow into what we are today. But we needed a bigger boat… and that’s where Funko comes in. They understand what Mondo is today and are eager to help us become the company we want to be.

From the outside, Mondo might seem like it is changing… but on the inside much is staying the same. We remain the same team, and our goals remain unchanged. We are still the same bunch of weirdos who share an undying obsession with popular (and maybe less popular) culture, and a craving to make cool stuff with the best artists in the world.

We are still the same company that started in the theater lobby… only now with even more resources to support our vision. We can’t wait to show you what’s next.

– (Still) Your friends at Mondo.

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.

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