Codenames publisher Czech Games Edition has bought its own board game factory

Czech Games Edition, the publisher of titles including Codenames and Lost Ruins of Arnak, has expanded into board game manufacturing by buying the factory it has used almost since its inception 17 years ago.

Czech Republic-based CGE has become the co-owner of long-time manufacturing partner Oriens Karton, a board game and puzzle production facility about 30 minutes away from its Prague headquarters.

CGE said Germany and US-based board game manufacturer Ludofact, which co-founded Oriens Karton in 2004, would remain co-owner of the facility.

Czech Games made a name for itself in the late 2000s with Vlaada Chvátil-designed games including Through the Ages, Galaxy Trucker and Space Alert, before striking it big with word-guessing game Codenames in 2015.

More recent releases including The Lost Ruins of Arnak, Under Falling Skies and Kutná Hora: The City of Silver.

Kutná Hora: The City of Silver
Photo Credit: Czech Games Edition

A statement from CGE said, “The decision to acquire our own production facility feels like a natural next step for CGE as we’ve grown with each passing year.

“With CGE games comprising up to 70% of the facility’s total production capacities during pre-Covid times, this acquisition allows us to further optimize the facility’s manufacturing processes.

“Now, we can adjust the production pipeline to better suit our needs and the needs of our games—which will allow us to try new things when it comes to how our games are manufactured.

“Innovation and a desire to experiment with new ideas are key concepts that we use when designing our games, and we want to apply the same mindset to their production as well.

“We’ve already tried using new material, ReWood, for the first time in Kutná Hora: The City of Silver last year, and we’re looking forward to continuing exploring and bringing new possibilities and materials to board games manufacturing.”

The company was keen to stress that buying the factory did not mean production will be exclusive to CGE, and invited board game publishers to get in touch with enquiries about using the facility.

It said its long-time German board game partner HeidelBÄR Games has already been producing its games in the factory, adding that CGE has been helping the company with its US distribution.

Last month BoardGameWire reported that Codenames had secured a DACH region distribution boost through a strengthened partnership between Asmodee Germany and HeidelBÄR Games.

CGE announced in October 2019 that HeidelBÄR would take care of German language localizations of its titles including Through the Ages, Galaxy Trucker, Dungeon Lords and Pictomania – but added at the time that the German edition of Codenames would continue to be distributed by Asmodee Germany.

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