Troubled Embracer Group using Asmodee IPs for more than 20 video game projects

Tomb Raider and Borderlands developer Embracer Group is planning a slew of video games based on Asmodee‘s board game range, as the company tries to leverage its intellectual property amid plans to slash its $1.45bn of debt.

Embracer, which bought Asmodee for €2.75bn last year, said in its latest annual report this morning that it has identified 25 video game projects which will use the tabletop gaming major’s IPs.

Details of specific games in development were not revealed, although the company’s Year In Brief report used Exploding Kittens and Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow to illustrate the section.

Asmodee publishes board games under 22 subsidiaries including Catan Studio, Days of Wonder, Fantasy Flight Games, Lookout Games and Z-Men Games, with its biggest IPs including Ticket to Ride, Catan, Splendor, 7 Wonders, Azul, Dobble/Spot It! and Star Wars: Legion.

Embracer also said Asmodee had “identified multiple areas for collaboration” with stablemate Dark Horse Comics, relating to novels, comics, merchandising and “media development”.

Last week Embracer revealed plans to shutter video games studios and let go some of its 17,000 staff as part of a restructuring program aimed at cutting into its $1.45bn debt pile.

The company said it would shift from “heavy-investment-mode” to become “a highly cash-flow generative business this year”, putting an end to a years-long acquisition spree which included the €2.75bn takeover of Asmodee in 2021.

Asmodee is a huge part of Embracer’s business, rivalling its PC and Console segment for overall sales. Asmodee provided $1.22bn of sales for Embracer last year, compared to $1.25bn for PC and Console.

Embracer said the tabletop games market saw “modest” growth of 2.1% year on year across the 2022/23 financial year, benefitting from strong holiday sales in the October to December period.

That growth largely came from distributing trading card games including Pokemon, Magic, Yu-Gi-Oh!, with board games sales declining by 4% during the financial year amid a “hesitant market environment”.

The company said its overall annual results were “not nearly as strong as we expected heading into the year.”

It said the disappointment was largely due to the PC and Console Games operating segment, which saw
solid organic growth but lower margins due to “pipeline shifts, a lacklustre reception for certain releases, and weaker consumer purchasing power”.

Embracer was hit by the last-minute loss of a $2bn video game development deal towards the end of May.


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