French publisher Asmodee has acquired the eccentric American boutique known for publishing just a few games each year.
Two the biggest heavyweights on the scene in board games publishing, Days of Wonder and Asmodee, have merged into one company following Asmodee’s purchase of the publisher behind the award-winning Ticket to Ride. Asmodee is a Paris-based French company that has been publishing games since 1995, and has been behind such hits as Hanabi and Jungle Speed as well as handling the local distribution of games like Dixit, 7 Wonders, and the Pokemon Trading Card Game. Days of Wonder is well known to American gamers as the publishers of Memoir ’44, Smallworld, and the behemoth bestseller Ticket to Ride, which, since its release in 2004, has seen countless expansions and has gone on to sell well over two million copies. After the acquisition, Days of Wonder will continue to run as much the same company with its current team, and will still be based out of Los Altos, California. Asmodee’s purchase is a clear play for a greater share of the North American board and card game market.
Days of Wonder’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Mark Kaufmann, told BoardGameGeek that “We weren’t looking to be acquired” but when Asmodee approached them in early 2014, Days of Wonder eventually decided that it liked Asmodee’s long term plans for the company. Asmodee already handled European distribution for several Days of Wonder games, and will now control the publisher’s entire official output. As part of the deal, Days of Wonder’s European manager Adrien Martinot will step up to studio head, while Days of Wonder CEO Eric Hautemont and VP Mark Kaufman will take on advisory roles with the company for an unspecified amount of time. Martinot has already been working with Days of Wonder’s release process this year, and apparently took the lead on their latest title: Bruno Cathala’s Five Tribes.