Asmodee continues whittling down Plan B Games, shifts trio of award-winning games to Lookout Spiele

Tabletop gaming giant Asmodee has moved Camel Up, Village and the entire Great Western Trail series to subsidiary Lookout Spiele, continuing a slow exodus of titles from Plan B Games.

Asmodee bought Plan B three years ago, towards the end of an enormous acquisition spree within board games that saw it pick up companies and brands including Fantasy Flight Games, Catan and Days of Wonder, as well as several distribution businesses.

The Plan B buyout gave Asmodee control of its eponymous game studio as well as Next Move, Pretzel Games and Eggertspiele – and a game catalogue featuring Azul and Century: Spice Road as well as Camel Up, Great Western Trail and Village.

Shifting the award-winning trio of games to Lookout leaves Plan B with a seriously reduced offering compared to just a few months ago, with the rights to Junk Art having been taken on by Spanish publisher Ludonova and former Eggertspiele title Heaven & Ale also disappearing from its online store.

Several expansions, mini-expansions and accessories for games including Azul, Century, Era, Coimbra and Equinox are also no longer present on the Plan B Games site.

Asmodee began “restructuring” late last year as part of a massive cost-cutting programme at its parent business Embracer Group, which hit financial problems last year after years of expansion and acquisitions ran up a $1.4bn debt pile.

BoardGameWire reported last week that Asmodee had continued to shine amid Embracer’s woes, having become Embracer’s biggest earner after overtaking its PC and Console Games segment for net sales last year.

The tabletop arm has avoided large-scale job losses so far, with its internal headcount falling by 82 to 2,500 people since Embracer began restructuring last summer. That is in stark contrast to the wider Embracer Group, which has shuttered a string of video games studios and projects and cutting more than 1,300 jobs in the past few months.

BoardGameWire contacted Asmodee to ask if more Plan B Games are expected to move to other parts of the business or to external publishers, and to ask if the changes are due to consolidation as part of the Embracer restructuring, but received an automated out of office response.

Asmodee increased its Q3 net sales 7% year-on-year to about $420m, while Embracer’s PC and Console arm saw net sales fall 5% to $321m in the same time period. Embracer’s company-wide net sales in Q3 fell by 4% to $1.14bn.

Asmodee was also the biggest driver of net sales for Embracer across the first nine months of the company’s financial year – reaching $1.1bn in net sales from April to December, up 16% compared to the same period in 2022.

Embracer CEO Lars Wingefors said in the firm’s interim report last week that the company’s diversity, driven by a strong quarter for Asmodee, Middle-earth Enterprises and its mobile games businesses, had delivered a stable quarter for results as it approaches “the final stretch” of its restructuring program, which is “focused on both possible divestments, and consolidation”.

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