Catan, Pandemic and Ticket to Ride maker Asmodee set for $3bn acquisition by video game giant behind Borderlands and Saints Row
Video game adaptations of tabletop IP among benefits listed by Embracer Group.
Asmodee, the tabletop giant behind Catan, Arkham Horror, Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne, Pandemic and more, is set to be sold for over $3 billion.
Asmodee owns 22 tabletop studios, ranging from Star Wars: X-Wing and Twilight Imperium maker Fantasy Flight Games to Pandemic, Love Letter and Carcassonne label Z-Man Games, Ticket to Ride outlet Days of Wonder and Catan Studio, responsible for the hugely popular series. According to the company, its studios sold a combined 39 million games last year alone.
Set to buy the conglomerate from its current owner, private equity firm PAI Partners, is the Embracer Group, the owner of a number of video game development studios and publishers. PAI acquired Asmodee for $1.4bn in 2018.
Among the Embracer Group’s most notable divisions are Borderlands creator Gearbox Entertainment, Darksiders publisher THQ Nordic and Koch Media/Deep Silver, the publisher of series including Saints Row, Dead Island and Metro 2033. The two companies are said to have “entered into exclusive discussions” regarding the sale.
The announcement notes that the acquisition would create “Europe’s largest gaming group”, made up of 100 studios, more than 500 IPs and over 11,000 employees. Asmodee would become Embracer’s ninth major division alongside its major video game groups.
The announcement also references the opportunity for Asmodee’s board games to be adapted into video games, with video games from Embracer Group publishers able to come to the tabletop as board games. Fantasy Flight Interactive, a development studio focused on turning the publisher’s tabletop hits into digital adaptations, closed in early 2020 after two and a half years.
The current price in discussion for Asmodee is 2.75€ billion ($3.11bn). If the sale goes ahead, it is expected to complete in the first half of 2022. Embracer’s press release confirms that the existing Asmodee management team would remain in place, with the company continuing to operate as before.