Asmodee Extends its Reach to Film, TV & Comics

If you’re familiar with the some of today’s most popular board games (no, I don’t mean Monopoly or Sorry), then you’re probably familiar with Asmodee (azz-mo-day). The French publisher is a behemoth in the industry and currently oversees production of many massively popular board, card and role-playing games like Hanabi, Splendor, Ticket to Ride, Dead of Winter and Star Wars X-Wing. Of course, to get to the point they are at today, they have acquired a number of other game publishers along the way such as Fantasy Flight, Days of Wonder, and most recently Mayfair Games and Lookout Spiele. While some raise an eyebrow to the number of companies Asmodee is amassing, there is no denying they excel at what they do. So what else do you do when you own nearly everything in sight? You turn it into a movie.

News broke yesterday at BoardGameGeek.com (courtesy of W. Eric Martin) that Asmodee Entertainment will be branching out to other media avenues such as comics, graphic novels, television and film.  The company’s CEO, Stéphane Carville, stated, “Asmodee’s success has been built on telling amazing stories through the great games we develop.  With the launch of Asmodee Entertainment, we will be telling these beloved stories through brand new channels like feature films and graphic novels, while also introducing new fans to our portfolio.”  And a grand portfolio it is.  Their library of game titles is enough to make even non-gamers do a double-take.

From a personal standpoint, I’m extremely curious to see what makes the leap to the next stage.  Comics can be a safe bet with graphic novels being somewhat more risky financially.  TV and movies though, oh that’s another level of money entirely.  Great risk, great reward…also the potential for a great flop.  In regard to what makes that risky jump, some things have already been quite successful in the digital arena.  Mobile app games such as Colt Express and Jaipur, the former originally a board game and the latter a card game, have done quite well in their new found formats.  Something like Dead of Winter, however, is pretty much inspired directly from The Walking Dead.  There’s not much else to do that TWD hasn’t already done in both comics, television and digital gaming.  Not only that, but the whole zombie genre is really worn out at this point.

Time will tell what comes next from Asmodee, but I would venture to guess it’ll be in paper form first (comics) with any kind of Hollywood anything being years off.  Small World and Mice & Mystics are titles that immediately come to mind with other favorites like Catan and Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn being other strong possibilities as well.  Whichever games they choose, here’s hoping they don’t experience the same transition fate so many video games have experienced…that of a resounding thud.  Unlike video games though, there is no hurry to turn any of these into an overnight box office hit.  Whereas video games have limited staying power and there is a resulting sense of urgency, board games are timeless and no one has their finger on the panic button.

  1. No Comments