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BoardGameGeek News

To submit news, a designer diary, outrageous rumors, or other material, please contact BGG News editor W. Eric Martin via email – wericmartin AT gmail.com

Archive for Industry News

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Links: Taking Stock of CMON Limited, Flattening Cards, and Reviewing the Women, er, Woman of Conan

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Wow, I haven't done one of these in a long time! Too many games swirling around us, each pecking our eyes for attention and keeping us from looking at other things — until now, that is...

• As of December 2, 2016, CMON Limited is now trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange's Growth Enterprise Market (GEM) with stock code “08278” on Dec. 2, 2016. From the press release announcing this development:

Quote:
Current employees, decision making, and management at the company remains unchanged. The controlling shareholders of CMON also remain the same and are steadfastly committed to the company. Chern Ann Ng, CEO of CMON Limited, explains, "We began laying the groundwork for this to happen in 2014, and this monumental achievement would not have been possible without the herculean efforts of the CMON family and outstanding support from the tabletop gaming community at large."

CMON remains dedicated to giving fans the highest-quality gaming experiences through its retail and distribution partners, as well as Kickstarter. The increased capital from the Public Listing will allow CMON to grow an already amazing team, expand into new geographic markets, and acquire new titles, licenses, and properties that fit into CMON’s growing catalogue.

• Former Asmodee North America employee Cynthia Hornbeck's essay about the Conan board game and the election of Donald Trump — "Grab 'Em by the Board Game" — made waves on Kotaku in an article titled "Former Conan Rep Calls Out Hit Board Game's Depiction Of Women", in which author Cecilia D'Anastasio interviewed Hornbeck and representatives from publisher Monolith. From Hornbeck's essay:

Quote:
This cover, I believe, represents a scene from one of the game's scenarios, in which Conan and his friends must rescue a princess who is about to be sacrificed by the Picts. In that scenario, the princess token/figure is treated exactly as if she were an object. She has no abilities. You can even toss her across the board.

But there's a playable female character in the Conan core set, you say. There’s Belit! Well, her mechanical function is to make the men better. That's literally all she does is follow Conan around and boost his abilities. Because that's what women are good for in this world: being fucked by men and making those men feel good. That's the world that you're choosing to have fun in.

• In an article about overfishing in The National Interest, author Claude Berube uses Matt Riddle and Ben Pinchback's Fleet from Eagle-Gryphon Games in his lede:

Quote:
The game ends when there are either no more fishing licenses to distribute or no more tokens of fish to extract from the ocean. Whomever has the most points from licenses, ships and fish, wins. The lost message in the end game is that, contrary to the adage, there are not plenty of fish in the sea. Fleet demonstrates the issue global overfishing, the potential for conflict over diminishing resources, and how non-state navies may have the answer to this security issue.

Minus points, though, for the use of "whomever" and the comma before "wins".

Gavan Brown and Roxley Games are featured in city lifestyle magazine Avenue Calgary:

Quote:
Together with a small team of like-minded board game enthusiasts, Brown and Roxley Games have so far created three high-quality, engaging games, spawning a loyal fan base that put their money where their "meeples" (pieces that represent the player in-game) are. Through Kickstarter, Roxley's second game, Steampunk Rally, raised $237,215 on a $42,000 goal, and their latest, Santorini, raised more than $700,000 on an $85,000 goal...

Santorini, a strategy game where gods compete to get their followers first atop their temple, is set to launch in early 2017, and has already caught the eye of major retailers. Roxley's Steampunk Rally, a machine-building tile and dice game, is now sold in more than 600 Barnes and Nobles stores in the U.S.

• What happens when you apply 90,000 pounds of pressure to a deck of cards? You cut the deck — into tiny, tiny pieces.

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Sat Dec 3, 2016 1:00 pm
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F2Z Entertainment Is Now Asmodée Canada

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In July 2016, the Asmodee Group — which is owned by French investment company Eurazeo — announced that it had entered into exclusive discussions to acquire F2Z Entertainment Inc., the Canadian publisher/distributor that owns the Z-Man Games, Filosofia Éditions, Pretzel Games, and Plaid Hat Games studios. The announcement didn't give a timeline for when this acquisition might take place or why an announcement of the discussions had to be made public.

I had heard from an informed source at SPIEL 2016 that a resolution to this issue would be announced the week of Monday, October 24. While nothing official has yet been made public, two business partners of F2Z Entertainment have shared a document that they received today from the company, the text of which reads:

Quote:
Cher client,
Par la présente, nous vous avisons que notre nom commercial a changé ainsi que notre compte bancaire. Notre adresse, notre numéro de téléphone ainsi que nos adresses courriels restent les mêmes.
À compter de ce jour, notre dénomination sociale est :

ASMODÉE CANADA

Which translated into English reads as follows:

Quote:
Dear customer,
Hereby we inform you that our trade name has changed as well as our bank account. Our address, our phone number, and our email addresses remain the same.
As of today, our company name is:

Asmodée Canada

Again, my understanding is that more details of this acquisition will be made public in the near future.
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Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:35 am
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Yarrington Responds to Shlasinger's Lawsuit over Fraud and Breach of Contract

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In June 2016, Zev Shlasinger and Paul Gerardi filed suit against Dan Yarrington and Myriad Games, Yarrington's game retail operation in New Hampshire, alleging that Yarrington committed "Fraud and Breach of Contract". On September 10, 2016, I posted the amended complaint filed by Shlasinger and Gerardi in U.S. District Court as well as Yarrington's brief public response to the lawsuit. (Shlasinger and Gerardi both formerly worked for Z-Man Games, with Shlasinger having founded Z-Man Games before selling it to Filosofia's Sophie Gravel in 2011; Shlasinger is currently employed by WizKids, and Yarrington owns Game Salute, but none of the game publishers listed here are involved with this lawsuit.)

On October 21, 2016 Yarrington filed an answer to this complaint, and I've reproduced this document below, followed by a separate disclosure statement from Yarrington's attorney Robert S. Carey. You need to compare the original complaint to the statements below to understand what is being admitted and denied in this answer.

A pretrial conference is scheduled on November 22, 2016 in the U.S. District Court in Concord, New Hampshire.















[Disclosure addendum to the previous post: I saw Yarrington multiple times at SPIEL 2016, but did not discuss this lawsuit with him. At dinner one evening, while seated at the far end of a long table, Yarrington asked me to pass the olives, and without thinking I picked up an olive and threw it at/to him. I saw Shlasinger only once at SPIEL 2016, but he was talking with someone else, so I didn't say (or throw) anything to him. —WEM]
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Mon Oct 24, 2016 1:00 pm
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Links: SPIEL 2016 Attendance, AEG Channels, & Brick-and-Mortar Pyramids

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• Time to catch up on industry news both recent and aged, some of which has been sitting in the inbox for months waiting for me to put aside SPIEL-related info — which makes it somewhat ironic that I'll start this post with a SPIEL 2016 recap from convention organizer Friedhelm Merz Verlag:

Quote:
It was by far the largest and most successful SPIEL in the 34-year history of the event. 174,000 games fans and buyers (previous year 162,000) from all over the world came to see 1,021 exhibitor booths (previous year 911) from 50 different countries (previous year 41) and to negotiate license deals, as well as to view more than 1,200 of this year's new releases...

On all four days of the event the doors had to be opened before the actual start time in order to cope with the crowds of visitors. Early every morning there was exuberant expectation at the gates amongst those waiting in queues to discover the treasures inside the exhibition halls.

SPIEL'16 was more international than ever before: More than half of the 1,021 exhibitors this year were from outside Germany (60 percent). Exhibitors from countries such as Colombia, Azerbaijan and Macedonia joined traditionally well-represented nations like the United States, France and Poland.

Morning crowd outside Hall 3; image provided by Merz Verlag

• In September 2016, Alderac Entertainment Group published a description of its "channel relationships", from which I've excerpted the following:

Quote:
Alderac Entertainment Group sells its products through a variety of sales channels. Our primary channel is the 3-tiered distribution system for tabletop hobby game products used in North America and Europe. In this channel, AEG sells to an authorized Distributor, who in turn sells to approved Retailers, who sell to consumers.

AEG reserves the right to determine to whom our approved distributors may sell our products. AEG provides our distribution partners with a House Accounts List and requires that they not do business with House Accounts unless authorized in writing beforehand by AEG.

AEG has set up the following Brand Protection Policy Guidelines so retailers who wish to carry AEG products know the expectations we have of a retailer who is representing our brands when offering to them to end consumers. AEG will make every effort to inform retailers who are not following the guidelines and allow them the opportunity to make changes.

Retailers AEG feels are not adhering to the policies or are somehow representing our brands in a way we do not feel is positive will be placed on our House Accounts List and permission for our authorized distributors to sell to those partners may be limited or revoked until AEG feels the problems have been resolved.

Internet Retail

We know that many brick & mortar stores now offer on-line ordering as a convenience to their customers and AEG supports those efforts.

Retailers that generate a substantial portion of their revenue from on-line sales will automatically be on the House Account list, and individual agreements will be made with authorized distributors to service those accounts.

The determination of how much business comprises a “substantial portion” will be made by AEG on a case by case basis.

Minimum Advertised Price Policies


AEG has established Minimum Advertised Prices for all its games.

The Minimum Advertised Price is the lowest amount a retailer can display to consumers for AEG products while purchasing those products from an authorized distributor. If a retailer consistently displays a price below the Minimum Advertised Price policy, that retailer will become a House Account.

AEG will also make retailers who participate in group ordering programs and similar promotions whereby AEG products are offered to consumers at deep discounts from the Suggested Retail Price House Accounts.

The Minimum Advertised Price policy exists to ensure that AEG can protect the integrity and value of its brands. This policy applies to advertised prices. Retailers can offer any price they wish at the point of sale.

AEG has posted a spreadsheet of available titles here, with the minimum advertised prices being 15% lower than the MSRP of those titles.

• In August 2016, Looney Labs announced that Pyramid Arcade — the publication of which it funded via Kickstarter in May 2016, with the pledge for the complete game being $77 — would be available for purchase online solely through its own website and Marbles: The Brain Store. Looney Labs explains the decision to do this as follows:

Quote:
At Looney Labs we create innovative, attractive, and above all, really fun tabletop card games and board games that can be enjoyed by adults and children alike. We are a small business, and thus rely on the revenue we earn from sales of our games to enable us develop wonderful new products such as Pyramid Arcade. We are excited to work with our retailers for years to come to promote and sell Pyramid Arcade as an evergreen product in our small line of games.

To protect brand equity and help build consumer demand for Pyramid Arcade, we have unilaterally decided to focus our sales efforts (for this single SKU: LOO-074) through physical retail locations (including conventions), and thus only offer Pyramid Arcade ONLINE through a small set of Chosen Online Retailers.
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Sun Oct 23, 2016 1:00 pm
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Zev Shlasinger Suing Dan Yarrington for Fraud and Breach of Contract

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On June 29, 2016, Zev Shlasinger and Paul Gerardi filed suit against Dan Yarrington and Myriad Games, Yarrington's game retail operation in New Hampshire, alleging that Yarrington committed "Fraud and Breach of Contract". (Shlasinger and Gerardi both formerly worked for Z-Man Games, with Shlasinger having founded Z-Man Games before selling it to Filosofia's Sophie Gravel in 2011; Shlasinger is currently employed by WizKids, and Yarrington owns Game Salute, but none of the game publishers listed here are involved with this lawsuit.) Here is Shlasinger's summary of the case:

Quote:
ZaP’D Games LLC was formed by Zev Shlasinger, Paul Gerardi, and Dan Yarrington/Myriad Games LLC in order to open a retail game store on Staten Island, NY. The store opened in January 2013, but closed 15 months later.

ZaP’D Games, LLC alleges that the store closed due to its partner, Dan Yarrington, committing Fraud and Breach of Contract.

Yarrington is being sued in US District Court in the District of New Hampshire.

Here are two news articles from January 2013 about the opening of the game store in Staten Island — one from DNAinfo and the other from SILive, with both referring to the store as "Myriad Games", as does the Yelp listing.

Here is the amended complaint filed in US District Court on July 8, 2016. (The initial complaint listed only Shlasinger and Gerardi as plaintiffs and Yarrington as defendant, but the complaint was amended to include ZaP'D Games as plaintiff and Myriad Games as defendant.)















Dan Yarrington has issued the following response to Shlasinger's publicizing of the lawsuit, noting: "We are unable to comment further at this time as this is ongoing litigation."



[Disclosure: I know all parties involved and have emailed Shlasinger and Yarrington multiple times to request information about games and publishing. I used to shop at Myriad Games when I lived in New Hampshire, and Yarrington approached me with an employment opportunity in 2010 after BoardgameNews.com, the site I formerly edited, imploded. Game Salute, Z-Man Games, and WizKids all have business relationships with BoardGameGeek, but I'm not involved with those relationships in any way and try to know as little about such activities as possible. —WEM]
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Sat Sep 10, 2016 5:00 pm
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Fantasy Flight Games and Games Workshop Parting Ways

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In early September 2016, PDF files for titles like Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay disappeared from DriveThruRPG, leading some to speculate that Fantasy Flight Games had lost the license to material from Games Workshop. (In June 2016, game news site Bell of Lost Souls reported that Games Workshop had attended the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas and was looking for licensees for video games, entertainment, apparel, collectables, publishing, and toys for such brands as Talisman, Space Hulk, Blood Bowl, Warhammer 40,000, and Warhammer Fantasy Battle.)

Today, Fantasy Flight Games has stated that no new Games Workshop-related titles will be announced and that all GW-related titles that it has published will disappear from its catalog on February 28, 2017. Here's the press release announcing this separation:

Quote:
In 2008, Fantasy Flight Games first began publishing great games set in the amazing Games Workshop universes. From the earliest days of the partnership, Games Workshop played a key role in the Fantasy Flight Games library, helping us further develop roleplaying games like Dark Heresy and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, while creating and establishing new board games like Chaos in the Old World and Forbidden Stars, and Living Card Games such as Warhammer 40,000: Conquest and Warhammer: Invasion.

Games Workshop has been a fantastic partner for the past eight years, and we're thrilled that we had the opportunity to work together and bring so many new and exciting games into the world. As much as we have enjoyed creating these games, our current licensing term is coming to an end.

Beginning February 28th, 2017, Fantasy Flight Games will no longer offer for sale any games in conjunction with Games Workshop, including Talisman and all games taking place in the Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000 universes.

We're extremely grateful to our friends at Games Workshop for giving us the opportunity to play in the worlds that they created, and we wish them nothing but the best in their future endeavors.

Fantasy Flight Games included the following FAQ in its press release that details exactly which games and game lines are leaving its catalog:

Quote:
What is the timeframe for the conclusion of the business relationship?

All upcoming products for Games Workshop-licensed games have already been announced and will be released in upcoming months. All Games Workshop-licensed product lines will leave the Fantasy Flight Games catalog on February 28th, 2017.

What does this mean for Fantasy Flight Games products created from Games Workshop properties?

As stated above, after February 28th, 2017, product lines dealing with Games Workshop properties will end and will no longer be offered for sale by Fantasy Flight Games.

All upcoming products for these product lines have already been announced — there will be no new announcements of additional Games Workshop-licensed products. All announced, currently unreleased products will be released before the conclusion of the business relationship between Fantasy Flight Games and Games Workshop.

The full list of product lines leaving the Fantasy Flight Games catalog is:

Black Crusade
Blood Bowl: Team Manager
Chaos in the Old World
Chaos Marauders
Dark Heresy
Dark Heresy Second Edition
Deathwatch
Forbidden Stars
Fury of Dracula
Only War
Relic
Rogue Trader
Space Hulk: Death Angel
Talisman
Warhammer: Diskwars
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay
Warhammer: Invasion The Card Game
Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game
Warhammer 40,000: Conquest
• All Fantasy Flight Supply products showing imagery licensed to Games Workshop

What does this mean for Warhammer 40,000: Conquest Organized Play?

Organized Play support for Warhammer 40,000: Conquest will conclude this year at the Fantasy Flight Games World Championships. After the 2016 World Championships, there will be no Organized Play support for Warhammer 40,000: Conquest.

Retailers: All pre-orders for Warhammer 40,000: Conquest Store Championship Kits and Quarter 1 Tournament Kits have been canceled. These kits have been discontinued and will not be released. Retailers will not be charged for these kits.
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Fri Sep 9, 2016 3:08 pm
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Links: CMON and Ultra PRO Acquire, Portal Expands, and Hanjin Stops

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• A lot of announcements (and other things) piled up in the inbox during Gen Con, and I'm only now clearing them out, such as the news that Cool Mini Or Not (technically CMON Limited) "acquired all branding and intellectual property rights for the successful Zombicide franchise from Guillotine Games". David Preti, Director of Guillotine Games, has become Creative Director of CMON Limited, and Guillotine Games will continue to work exclusively with CMON.

• CMON also signed a deal with Good Games Publishing to "co-brand, market and distribute the new Australian publisher's board games in all French and English territories outside of Australia and New Zealand", with GGP's Monstrous due out in Q3 2016 and Unfair planned for release in Q4 2016.

• Similarly, CMON announced that it would co-publish John Hawkins and Michelle Menard's Gateway: Uprising with FishWizard Press, which had developed the game and run an unsuccessful Kickstarter for it in 2015. Here's an overview of the game, now due out in Q1 2017:

Quote:
Players of the deck-building card game Gateway: Uprising take on the roles of insurgent wizards determined to reclaim the Great City of Gateway.

Each player begins with the game with the same starter resources of basic insurgent wizards, merchants, and a magical Runestone — but from there the similarities end. Players will draft new wizards, heroes, and magical creatures into their ranks, building up an army to defeat and defend the different districts of Gateway.

After successfully liberating a district, the player gains access to its unusual power, such as cheaper resources, additional defenses, or even the ability to magically damage foes from afar. Be warned: Not only will other rebel insurgents attempt to steal your districts away from you, but you'll also have to battle against the forces of Chancellor Gideon and an invading onslaught of terrible monsters called the Drueggar.

To aid you in this are Runestones: powerful one-time-use spells that can turn the tide of battle instantly or provide the player with a temporary boost to his coffers. However, once used, Runestones become empty shells and are discarded for the remainder of the game.

To win the game, players must collect victory points by defeating the city guard and Drueggar Horde, controlling important districts, or through special insurgent abilities they draft into their ranks. Don't delay and play the waiting game; if the Drueggar manage to take all the city districts, it’s game over for both the insurgents and the innocent citizens of Gateway!

Perhaps Cool Mini Or Not needs a new tagline to go with its hew logo: "We Try Harder".




Ultra PRO announced a deal in which it will "acquire the rights to Stone Blade Entertainment's tabletop games portfolio", which primarily consists of the Ascension deck-building games. To quote from the press release:

Quote:
Under the completion of the transition, Ultra PRO will handle tabletop publishing, marketing and promotion, engaging its extensive presence in the gaming market to bring Stone Blade Entertainment games to new audiences, while allowing Stone Blade Entertainment to focus on designing new quality games.

I asked Stone Blade for clarification about this statement and was told that "SBE will still exist as a separate company, and Justin Gary will still design future Ascension releases that will be handled by Ultra PRO."

• In May 2016, GTS Distribution announced that it had agreed to purchase New York-based distributor Global Enterprises, with all existing staff of Global Enterprises coming to work for GTS Distribution.

Portal Games has opened a new division in Germany — Portal Games Deutschland — that will debut in October 2016 at SPIEL 2016. This division is being run by Benjamin Schönheiter, who used to work for Pegasus Spiele on the localization of games such as Portal's own Robinson Crusoe. At SPIEL 2016, Portal Games plans to debut the new version of 51st State, the third edition of Neuroshima Hex!, and an as yet unannounced new army for that game. Cry Havoc will debut in Germany shortly afterwards.

• Finally, in a bit of news not about acquisition or expansion, the Korean-based Hanjin Shipping Co. has filed for bankruptcy. From an article in The Wall Street Journal:

Quote:
Hanjin, one of the world’s largest shipping lines, stopped taking new shipments in the wake of the filing, according to a customer advisory sent to freight brokers in Asia. The carrier faced the possible detention of its ships under threats of seizure by creditors.

The filing with the Seoul Central District Court came just a day after the company’s creditors cut off a lifeline, as financial assistance of more than 1 trillion won ($896 million) failed to keep it afloat. It is the latest domino to fall as shipping companies world-wide grapple with overcapacity amid a slump in global trade.

The news sent freight brokers and shippers scrambling to find space with other carriers as Hanjin was immobilized in the midst of the busiest season for exports out of Asia. Asia-based freight brokers estimate Hanjin’s daily capacity at 25,000 shipping containers.

The article notes that Hanjin vessels are being denied entry into ports since it's not clear whether they can pay the necessary fees. An additional worry is that ships in port might have legal claims filed against them, which would prohibit them from moving, thereby tying up the space and not allowing it to be used by others.

While this news isn't related to games directly, if publishers are moving games out of China, there's a good chance that their shipping plans will be disrupted due to this development, whether directly or indirectly.
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Sat Sep 3, 2016 4:39 pm
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Asmodee in Negotiations to Acquire F2Z Entertainment

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Following Asmodee's acquisitions of Days of Wonder (BGG News story) and Fantasy Flight Games (story) in 2014 and the worldwide English rights to Catan (story) in 2016, many people have wondered which domino in the hobby game industry would fall next.

The answer turns out to be F2Z Entertainment, the Canadian publisher/distributor that owns the Z-Man Games, Filosofia Éditions, Pretzel Games, and Plaid Hat Games studios. Asmodee and F2Z Entertainment aren't strangers, having worked with one another over the years, with Asmodee distributing F2Z titles in France, Germany and elsewhere in Europe, while F2Z has distributed Asmodee titles in Canada. (This is the basis for the "partnership" referred to in the quotes from the press release below.)

Asmodee has issued the following press release about the deal, and Asmodee North America VP of Marketing Aaron Elliott told me that it can give no other comment at this time since the discussions are still under way. (The "exclusiveness" referred to in the first line of the press release means only that no one else is competing with Asmodee to acquire this company.) Here's what has been made public to date:

Quote:
The Asmodee Group has announced today that it has entered into exclusive discussions to acquire F2Z Entertainment Inc.

In line with the acquisitions of the worldwide rights to Dobble/Spot-It!, Days of Wonder, and Fantasy Flight Games publishers, and more recently the set-up of Catan Studio, these exclusive discussions with F2Z Entertainment Inc. emphasize Asmodee's strategy to strengthen its intellectual property portfolio and international presence. Closing of this acquisition is expected to take place in the coming months.

Created in Canada in 2002 by Sophie Gravel, F2Z Entertainment Inc. has become, over the years, one of the most worldwide renowned publisher & distributor of modern board games, with key owned brands such as Pandemic (over 1 million units sold), Dead of Winter, and also publishing rights for evergreen games (Carcassonne for French and English version, Catan for French version).

Stéphane Carville, CEO of Asmodee Group said: "I am delighted to enter into these exclusive discussions with F2Z Entertainment, which is, for us, the natural next step of a strong and long-lasting partnership built over the years with Sophie Gravel and her teams. Through this acquisition, we will continue expanding our IP portfolio with fantastic games and incredibly innovative studios such as Z-Man Games, Plaid Hat Games and Filosofia. This will also enable us to increase our presence on the global game market."

Sophie Gravel, CEO of F2Z Entertainment added: "As we are close to celebrating 15 years of success with F2Z, we are proud to announce these exclusive discussions with Asmodee Group, a key partner since the beginning of our adventure. This deal is in the direct continuation of our close business partnership and will provide the best environment for our iconic games to reach their full potential and help our studios to continue publishing amazing games."
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Fri Jul 22, 2016 8:00 am
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Codenames Wins the 2016 Spiel des Jahres; Isle of Skye Claims Kennerspiel

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Codenames from designer Vlaada Chvátil and publisher Czech Games Edition has won the 2016 Spiel des Jahres, Germany's game of the year award, which is intended to highlight an outstanding design that would be ideal for German families — and if you happen to belong to a family of some other nationality, there's a good chance that you'll enjoy the game as well.




The 2016 Kennerspiel des Jahres — an award aimed at game enthusiasts who are ready for something more challenging or involved — goes to Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King from designers Andreas Pelikan and Alexander Pfister and publishers Lookout Games and Mayfair Games.




Congratulations to both winners!
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Mon Jul 18, 2016 10:17 am
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Links: Leacock in Time, Awards in Passing, and Women Not in View

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• Designer Matt Leacock was featured in a June 30, 2016 write-up in TIME in the magazine's "American Genius" section. The article gets a few details wrong — Leacock self-funded the publication of his 2000 title Lunatix Loop, not Pandemic — but it's a nice summary of Leacock's career arc to date.

The really strange thing is that the article doesn't include a picture of either Leacock or Pandemic. What's up with that?! We'll just have to settle for the old-school game references in the article title...

• In May 2016, Nicolas Ricketts — curator of The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York — highlighted the breadth of Sid Sackson's works, unpublished prototypes, and correspondence held by the museum.

• On The Cardboard Republic, Erin Ryan surveyed the cover art of new releases in the top one hundred games on BGG from 2009 to 2016 and concluded that "You are more likely to see a sheep on the cover of a board game box than you are to see a group of women". An excerpt:

Quote:
On average, only 5.1% of games released within a year of making it onto the BGG Top 100 featured women alone. No games featured a group of characters made up primarily of women. Groups of predominantly men or men alone (i.e. without women) made up 74.4% of the sample. Groups containing an equal number of men and women came in at 20.5%.

But okay, like above, that’s an average. A more telling (and, thankfully, more hopeful) picture shows how representation has changed from 2009 to 2016.


• The 14th annual Japan Boardgame Prizes have been announced, with the seven-member jury selecting Alex Randolph's Mahé — a modern edition of his Die heisse Schlacht am kalten Buffet — for the U-more Award aimed at beginning and family gamers.

In the Voters' Selection category, Libellud's edition of Mysterium took first place, edging out The Voyages of Marco Polo, Karesansui, Deep Sea Adventure, and Patchwork in close voting.

• In older award news, the nominees for the 2016 GRAF LUDO were announced in early June 2016. This award is intended to highlight aesthetically pleasing design in games, and the nominees for 2016 in the family category are The Bloody Inn, Celestia, Game of Trains, Gum Gum Machine, Mysterium, and Die Wände haben Ohren, with the last title being a complete mystery to me and something lacking from the BGG database.

GRAF LUDO nominees in the children's category for 2016 are BauBoom, Die Drachenzähne, Die Helden von Kaskaria, Insekten Hotel, My First Stone Age, and Spookies.
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Thu Jul 14, 2016 1:00 pm
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