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Asmodee Owner To Split Into 3 Companies

Publisher of video games, Star Wars TTRPG, and owner of Middle Earth Enterprises restructures after turbulent year.

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Embracer Group, the Swedish gaming conglomerate which owns Asmodee, a major French tabletop gaming company with names like Days of Wonder, Ticket to Ride, Fantasy Flight Games, and various Lord of the Rings games--along with and Dark Horse Comics, Edge Studios, a subsidiary which produces the current range of Star Wars TTRPG books, and Fantasy Flight Games--is to split into three companies, the company has announced. Embracer Group owns or controls over 9,000 different IPs, including Middle Earth Enterprises, which it acquired in August 2022.

The company has been going through a rough time, with hundreds of layoffs, the closures of various studios like Saints Row developer Volition and Timesplitters' Free Radical Design, and the sales of developers such as Saber Interactive, which made the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic remake, and Gearbox Entertainment, which makes Borderlands and Duke Nukem. Restructuring began in June 2022, with 1,387 staff laid off, represents 8% of the company's worldwide workforce. 29 unannounced games were also cancelled, as was a new Deus Ex game. The financial turmoil was caused by the breakdown of a $2B deal with Savvy Games Group, a Saudi government funded company.

“The Board of Directors of Embracer Group AB (“Embracer Group”) today announces a transformative step for value creation through a separation of the group into three market-leading games and entertainment companies: Asmodee Group, “Coffee Stain & Friends” and “Middle-earth Enterprises & Friends”. The three entities will be separate, publicly listed companies, enabling each entity to better focus on their respective core strategies and offer more differentiated and distinct equity stories for existing and new shareholders. This will enable the entities to unlock value in the high-quality assets of Embracer Group following the successful completion of the restructuring program.”

The three new companies are:
  • Asmodee (tabletop gaming)
  • Coffee Stain & Friends (premium and free-to-play PC, console, and mobile gaming)
  • Middle-earth Enterprises & Friends (AAA games, LotR content, plus Dark Horse Comics and Tomb Raider)
As part of the restructuring, Asmodee has secured €900M in financing, which most are speculating is a way to spin off Embracer's debts of over $700M--the press release says that "The loan is ringfenced with no recourse to Embracer Group… it is only secured by Asmodee assets". All three companies will remain controlled by Embracer CEO Lard Wingefors, who owns about 20% of Embracer's capital and controls 40% of votes. Embracer says that "Wingefors will “remain a long-term, active, committed and supportive owner of all three entities."

Edge Studios, which holds the TTRPG titles previously produced by sister-sute Fantasy Flight Games, is known for TTRPGs such as Arkham Horror, Legend of the Five Rings, Midnight, and Star Wars (along with the Genesys universal game system). These titles will be produced by the new Asmodee company.

Asmodee will be spun off within the next 12 months, with Coffee Stain moving during 2025. Asmodee in its current form, which Embracer acquired in March 2022, produces over 300 well-known tabletop games such as Ticket to Ride, Catan, and Exploding Kittens, with licensed tabletop games based on Lord of the Rings, Marvel, Lego, and Star Wars in development.


Embracer Group AB (”Embracer Group”) has, as part of its decision to transform the group into three separate publicly listed entities, which is further described in a separate press release announced today, entered through Asmodee into a financing agreement with JP Morgan, BNP Paribas, SEB, Societe Generale and Swedbank. The financing amounts to EUR 900 million (approximately SEK 10.5 billion) with a maturity up to 18 months and on similar terms as the previous loan. The financing agreement creates a strong foundation for building an optimal capital structure for the three entities.

The financing is an important part of the debt refinancing of Embracer Group following its restructuring program, which was finalized 31 March, 2024. The loan at Asmodee level has a maturity up to 18 months on similar terms as Embracer Group’s existing SEK 8 billion loan with maturity in February 2025. The loan is ringfenced with no recourse to Embracer Group, separating Asmodee’s assets and funds from those of Embracer Group, and it is only secured by Asmodee assets. The loan will be used to refinance Embracer Group’s existing SEK 8 billion loan with maturity in February 2025, and to reduce the revolving credit facilities by SEK 1 billion to SEK 8 billion. The previously communicated mandatory amortization of SEK 2.6 billion until January 2025 is no longer needed due to the repayment of the SEK 8 billion loan with maturity February 2025. The existing revolving credit facilities mature in May 2025.

The intention is to continue to deleverage, through both the expected significantly improved Free Cash Flow in the remaining Embracer Group (excluding Asmodee), as well as the proceeds from the divested assets of Saber Interactive and Gearbox Entertainment in the course of FY24/25.

On a pro forma basis as per LTM[1] December 2023, Embracer Group, including the expected sales proceeds from the divestment of assets from Saber Interactive and Gearbox Entertainment, but excluding Asmodee, will have a Net Debt-to-Adjusted EBIT of around 0.6x. On a pro forma basis as per LTM December 2023, Asmodee will have a Net Debt to Adjusted EBITDA of approximately 3.9x. As part of the transformation and ahead of each separation the full capital structure, including both equity and debt, will be reviewed in Asmodee and “Coffee Stain & Friends” to create the best possible long-term foundation for each entity as a separately listed company.

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The strategy seems pretty obvious from the outside.

The companies grouped with Asmodee are generally past their "prime earning" product years. You're going to see slow, stable revenue from them but very little innovation, very little "big bang" new product revenue (that's all going to come from the interactive side of the fence).
I mean, they started out as Nordic Games back in 2011. There has never been any real "innovation" coming out from them so banking on that is a fools game.

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I can't say I'm exactly surprised, but I didn't expect videogame speculation to so directly hit the board game space. Asmodee has been consolidating that market for years, it's sad that they'll be bringing outside troubles with them.

Von Ether

I can't say I'm exactly surprised, but I didn't expect videogame speculation to so directly hit the board game space. Asmodee has been consolidating that market for years, it's sad that they'll be bringing outside troubles with them.
Dennis Detwiller of DG fame had a long career in video games and said the industry was more built to spin up studios and then sell them while the deep pocket people in the industry acting like they were embarrassed they had to make their fortunes from those those video gamey things. (Maybe they were getting teased for it at the country club?)

He says he is so much happier to be back in ttrpg space. Then again, he does it as he sits on top of a strong ttrpg IP.

Even if Hasbro hadn't enough money for a new acquisition, a merger with other company is possible. They tried it with Mattel but it didn't work.

Or even Hasbro doesn't need the complete pack, but only buying some IPs, and later talking with Disney about licences.

Some body call who ever owns WEG D6 theses days and tell them the Starwars license is going to be available soon…
License seems to be with Gallant Knight Games (at least they are apparently planning a second edition of OpenD6 - see this reply to my comment on Twitter). I'd doubt they have the money for the license, though.
If anything, a 5e version of Star Wars seems more likely to me (I would personally definitely also enjoy the D6 version more).

I've been very disappointed with EDGE. Having forum interaction and some level of transparency with FFG to an ambiguous website and no development incite, did not sit well with me. It felt like they shelved Genysis, Star Wars, and L5R for the quick cash grab 5e titles. Sure it might seem like that is starting to shift to a better direction, but they are so opaque there is no telling what their plan is.
I agree there is not nearly as much communication with Edge as there was with FFG, but they are still active. They just released a brand new Genesys Twilight Imperium title this month, in fact: War for the Throne.

Von Ether

The only time I have discovered any news about Edge products is when I personally visit their website.

More than the usually challenges of having all those games shunted off to a smaller overseas studio, the loss of networking ties and media connections probably did more damage.

When I was in public relations, we used to joke we should get inverse fees.

If you snagged a big name, the job almost did itself. (Stephen King said e-publishing was a success back when he wrote the Green Mile, it took decades for the reality to catch up. ) And small companies with no established presence were ten times the work on a shoestring budget no less.


and the sales of developers such as Saber Interactive, which made the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic remake,
When was this made? I thought it was in eternal development hell (having changed hands multiple times) but has not actually been made yet.

Did I miss something?


If you were Hasbro, and you had survived a bad economic year, and now there is enough money, what would you do with Asmodee?

I'd wait.

Just like they did with T$R...but that didn't work out the way they planned (some crazy person at a card company decided to pay more money than it was worth and actually PAID that much money for it).

Unless you have a wild card pop up (like there was for T$R), if Asmodee continues into deeper money problems, eventually things will be a LOT cheaper than they are now. At that point...I'd say they may see which properties they want and which ones they don't.

When they get desperate enough for anything, when they see the end coming and that they are going to die and no one is going to save them, and there are no options left, that's the time to do deals...or you wait until it's a dead corpse and get an even better deal then from the creditors who may not know what they have.

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