Faced with an unprecedented crisis for the board game industry (shops and cafes close, events get cancelled, productions delayed), Asmodee US has made the decision to delay all new releases until the 1st May.
Asmodee USA has continued to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic as it develops. We want to wish all of you good health and safety during this time. Our employees’ and their families’ health are a top priority. A majority of our staff has transitioned to work from home when able. At this time, our warehouse remains open to help service any store that is able to continue business. However, we have decided to delay new release items until at least May 1, 2020.
While this statement has been made by Asmodee US, this will also affect the UK because most of the Asmodee releases here are coming from the US and only a smaller number from the European publishing partners of Asmodee.
With a lot of new releases already delayed because of the Covid-19 outbreak in China, these could lead to a further reduction in new games getting released in the coming weeks.
Sidereal Confluence will also make a comeback, but stock is very limited and already sold out to pre-orders. We are hoping to get more copies in before the end of the month, but have no confirmation for a second delivery yet.
Big news from FFG/Asmodee USA: Christian T. Petersen has announced that he will retire from his position as CEO of Asmodee North Ameria. The last game he designed will get released later this year:
In 2014, following a merger with French publishing giant Asmodee, Petersen became CEO for Asmodee North America – a position he will leave at the end of 2018 in order to “focus on family, health, and the pursuit of other interests”.
The last games Petersen worked on at Fantasy Flight will be released over the next six months to a year, he confirmed.
The departure of the FFG founder comes as Asmodee prepares for a new owner: PAI Partners, a private equity firm, will buy Asmodee for €1.2 billion.
Asmodee Group, the French maker of board game Catan and distributor of Pokemon cards in parts of Europe, is exploring a sale that could value it at more than 1.5 billion euros ($1.7 billion), according to people familiar with the matter.
The Guyancourt, France-based company, owned by private equity firm Eurazeo SE (EURA.PA), has hired investment bankers to run a sale process, said the sources, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential.
At the moment these are only rumours (but there seems to be enough behind it for Reuters to write a news item about it), but it makes sense that the private equity firm behind Asmodee is trying to cash in after years of massive expansion across all board game markets.