Eurazeo has announced that it is in exclusive discussions to purchase French game company, Asmodee. Eurazeo is a multi-billion euro, growth-oriented, French investment company with holdings in diverse industries. Of the transaction, Eurazeo’s Chief Investment Officer said:
Growth profile of the company and its significant transformation potential both in terms of new products and new geographies perfectly fit with Eurazeo investment strategy. Together with Stephane Carville’s team we have the ambition to transform Asmodee into a world-class publisher and distributor of games.
If completed, the transaction would value Asmodee at €143 million ($193 million).
The deal still requires corporate and government approvals. However, the plan is for Eurazeo to invest €102 million, and the management and founders of Asmodee another €13 million.
According to the announcement, Asmodee has 180 employees and had €110 million in sales in 2012.
The Jack Vasel Memorial Fund’s annual auction runs through November 25th on BoardGameGeek. It’s a charity auction; don’t expect to get any deals. But there’s some cool stuff and it’s a good cause, so bid high!
The Story Games Weekly newsletter is giving away gift certificates to DriveThruRPG. To enter, submit a Fate aspect via email.
The Toys “R” Us Epic Board Game Sale is in-store only and includes such deals as Clue for $8, Electronic Battleship for $25, Scrabble Flash for $3, and Ants in the Pants for $5. Also, get a $10 gift card with the purchase of $35 or more of Hasbro board games.
In Noble Knight Games’ Fall Sale everything is at least 10% off.
To go with the company’s playing cards project on Kickstarter, Albino Dragon is giving away The Princess Bride on blue-ray.
WizKids is collecting playthrough videos of the Kobayashi Maru scenario in Star Trek: Attack Wing. The company will select one video in which the Federation player wins and one video in which the Klingon player wins, and award each a set of the Star Trek: Attack Wing The Dominion War Storyline Organized Play Kits 1 and 2.
The current pay-what-you-want Bundle of Holding focuses on Hero System.
It looks like the Ouija movie project lives but as a low-budget, horror flick. Earlier information had Hasbro planning an expensive, international, family, adventure film.
This latest news comes out of the launch of auditions by Platinum Dunes, a production company owned by Michael Bay and partners.
Ouija will feature a teen who uses a board to contact a deceased classmate, but in so doing, triggers a variety of terrifying results in the lives of her friends and family.
[via Acting Auditions]
These hand-crafted dice represent the absolute best in quality that Escape can produce. Each dice is hand-sculpted with a polished finish and high detail. This time around they’ve also got over-sized die, measuring at 1.18 inches compared to the normal 3/4″ dice.
The project is already funded, but there’s some pretty great stretch goals to be achieved. A $19 pledge will guaranteed you one Prestige Die.
Evil Hat is offering all participants in its Street Team program a free download of the first volume in the upcoming Designers & Dragons game history book series. And from among those participants, three will be chosen to receive another free product download of their choice, and one will be chosen to receive either $50 worth of physical products (plus some dice) or all available downloads (winners choice). Participation involves promotional activities either in person or online.
Icarus Tours will give two people each a game costing up to $50. Facebook likes and shares required.
For every order placed through December 25th on HasbroToyShop.com, the company will donate one toy or game to Toys for Tots.
Green Ronin is holding a Scratch & Dent Sale.
As part of the I Heart My Neighborhood Toy Store campaign leading up to Neighborhood Toy Store Day on November 9th, ASTRA (the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association) is running two sweepstakes. The prize for one is a travel package to Hard Rock Hotels in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. The prizes in the other are toys and gift certificates.
At Toys “R” Us, store credit card users will receive 10% off their purchases every Saturday through December 21st. Those who open a new “R” Us credit card account in-store will receive an additional 15% off their purchase. Rewards “R” Us members will receive four rewards points per dollar spent in-store or online every Wednesday in November and December. Those who use the “R” Us credit card for their purchases will get eight points. And all Rewards “R” Us members are being sent by email a coupon that will grant them early access to all special Black Friday deals as of Wednesday, November 27th.
NIIT (India) is giving away tickets to the World Chess Championship on its Wish4Vishy website.
Hasbro’s Monopoly Empire promotion includes an instant win game for entrants under 13 years of age and a sweepstakes for those 13 and older. Prizes for the instant win game include a $20,000 package of travel to the 2014 Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado, as well as Samsung electronics, and an Xbox Kinect. Prizes for the sweepstakes include a Samsung tablet and an Xbox Kinect.
To get a free Apprentice Edition of Ascension with a purchase of $30 or more, use coupon code “HOLIDAY2013″ at AscensionGame.com.
TimetoPlay Magazine is raffling off Fibber from Spin Master.
Get the Mentalist Mystery Game, possibly, with likes and shares on Facebook.
Counterfeit designer board games, a problem in the Chinese market, are now being marketed for export. According to Cédric Barbé, CEO of French game publisher, Iello:
In the past, the impact of counterfeits has been limited to sales in China, though that impact has been hard to measure with precision. We have experienced situations in which a Chinese publisher interested in one of our games has changed its mind after finding the game already on its market. Or finding that the game was being sold at such a low price as to be even cheaper than the cost of having it manufactured by our printers.
Purple Pawn, though, has confirmed listings of counterfeit games on the website of business-to-business export broker, DHgate.com, including King of Tokyo and Forbidden Island. The games are listed in case lots at wholesale rates, shipping overseas included. Some are pictured with unauthorized translations and expansions or modified packaging. One King of Tokyo listing, for example, includes a limited-release Brockenbar promotional monster and a never-released Ultraman monster.
Nevertheless, Jason Schneider, Director of Product Development and Marketing for Gamewright, says that so far, counterfeits have had minimal impact on sales:
As for the counterfeit Forbidden Island, we’re aware of it but haven’t taken any legal action against it up to this point. In all honesty, it’s just not worth the amount of time and money we’d have to invest to prosecute… It’s a shame that they’re out there, but until we see a significant dent in the sales of the official product, we probably won’t take action. In the mean time, we’ll stand flattered that our games are popular enough that someone would want to knock them off!
Though Purple Pawn was not able to confirm their status (counterfeit or legitimate) in time for this article, other games found on the same website, outside their normal distribution channels, are Cards Against Humanity, Bananagrams, Yu-Gi-Oh, Temple Run Danger Chase, Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow, and Blokus.
Posted by Randy Snyder as Modern Board Games
Z-Man Games has successfully returned from Essen, and has put up their schedule for the games they had at Essen.
Week of November 25th
Blueprints: This dice game centers around making the best building set of three buildings from your dice rolls. Players draft their dice from a common pool, balancing the need to create your own structures, against stopping your opponents from finishing theirs.
Week of December 9th or 16th
Agricola World Championship deck: This deck contains four foil Japanese Tarmogoyf’s and four foil Russian Jace the Mind-Sculptor. Oh, wait, no it doesn’t, that was a Magic: The Gathering world championship deck. This deck was created for the 2011 Agricola World Championship. Finally, we can all recreate our favorite moments in Agricola Championship play, like when someone took the wood action, completely leaving the Family Growth spot open. Crazy!
Bruxelles 1893: Play as a Belgian architect constructing Art Nouveau buildings. Not since Pret-A-Porter has a more unlikely topic for boardgames been covered! I don’t know anything else about this game, but everyone raved about Pret-A-Porter.
Carcassonne South Seas: Hopefully this means I will finally be able to drown all these meeples that haunt my dreams.
Ginkgopolis: The Experts: This expansion adds six separate sections that can be added as players like. Including “Design competitions and advertising campaigns eventually lead to increasingly imposing avant-garde buildings.” So, finally, a game about building buildings, an area that has been decidedly unexplored, up until this month.
Glass Road: This game is about war set in a post-apocalyptic Iowa, where transparent aluminum is the material of choice for military vehicles. The destruction of these vehicles has created a Glass Road to Nebraska. And you must get to Nebraska as quickly as possible to harvest the corn to fed your people. Oh, wait… No, it is about managing a glass making business in Bavaria.
Ricochet Robots: This is a reprint of the game from 1999. Although at first, I think of Roborally, it really doesn’t sound anything like that. It is a brain burning puzzle to get a robot to a goal in the fewest moves.
Russian Railroads: I love me some train games, although this looks to be more than just deliver, deliver, deliver. Russian Railroads is a worker placement take on the usual train game.
Dungeon Petz: Dark Alleys: Is an expansion to the orignal Vladda Chvatil (I don’t have the little stress mark above the “a” on my keyboard,) game, Dungeon Petz. In this expansion we get a new part of town to check out, with six new spaces, all done in classic Dunegon Petz style.
Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends: This is a tactical game using cards to bring your units onto the board, in order to destroy your opponent’s pieces. By moving your units into specific patterns on the board, you will be able to summon more creatures to fight for you. This looks like an interesting combination of tactical combat, and hand management.
So that gets us up through January! Make sure to get to your Friendly Local Game Store and put in a pre-order. All of these games are up on the ‘Geek with more indepth reviews, comments, and lots of pictures.
The official news can be found here.
The government of Sierra Leone has instituted a new policy requiring that applicants purchase and play a board game about traffic laws and road safety in order to get a driver’s license.
In Manipur, India, District Police raided organized dice games and then staged a public burning of confiscated items. Paramilitary police personnel, though, were caught and arrested for participating in the shakedown of a dice game that was taking place below a police station.
The 2nd U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan has reinstated the conviction of a man for running a gambling club in New York. A District Court judge had thrown out the conviction based on a finding that the game of choice in the warehouse backroom, Poker, is a game of skill, not chance. The appeals court, however, ruled that the nature of the game wasn’t relevant under New York law.
A conflict over similar issues is brewing in Syracuse, New York. The city is considering turning a vacant lot, the scene of a recent murder, in to a Chess park. Neighbors, however, are concerned that the park would more likely be used for drug dealing.
Chess grandmaster Timur Gareev played and defeated 10 inmates at the Cook County jail blindfolded.
The Court of Appeal for England and Wales upheld a lower court decision to cancel Mattel’s UK trademark for Scrabble tiles. The courts agreed with Zynga, the applicant for cancellation, that the description of the mark in the registration was too vague and could impinge on the rights of other trademark owners. The Scrabble registration provided a drawing of a blank tile and the description, “On the top surface of which is shown a letter of the Roman alphabet and a numeral in the range 1 to 10.” Zynga explained that there are many ways in which letters and numbers could be combined and that the vague description provided by Mattel would capture other trademarks such as “3M” and “F1″.
A High Court judge also ruled for Zynga, deciding that the online game Scramble With Friends does not infringe on Mattel’s trademark rights to “Scrabble”. The judge however, did find a problem with Zynga’s current Scramble logo and ordered that it be changed. According to the judge, “Zynga’s present logo with the m on its side gives the impression that the word is Scrabble when one looks at it quickly and has the propensity to confuse.”
A Dutch court has refused to grant an injunction sought by Jumbo Games against Ravensburger. Jumbo wanted to halt sales of Wasgij by Ravensburger in Europe, claiming that the latter company’s license from the former only permits sales of the game in the United States.
A man was shot and killed while playing cards on the front steps of a friend’s house in Camden, New Jersey. Police do not believe the man was the intended target but have not explained why.
The Durham County Council (UK) designed a “Monopoly-style” board game with which to facilitate public meetings to discuss service priorities during required budget cuts.
A California appeals courts sided with Mattel in a dispute over a license agreement for the board game, Outburst. Licensor, Hersch & Co., sought $1.5 million in damages over an alleged failure by Mattel to meet a contractually mandated minimum advertising spend, which Hersch claimed damaged the Outburst brand and made it more difficult for the company to secure a subsequent license. In addition to claiming that it had spent $2 million on advertising as required, Mattel successfully argued that the specific type of damages sought by Hersch & Co. were barred by the contract.
Hasbro wasn’t so fortunate in its dispute with Johnson Research over royalties for licenses related to Nerf and Super Soaker. The latter claimed that the license agreements required payment of royalties on a much greater number of products than Hasbro had maintained. In binding arbitration, Hasbro was ordered to pay Johnson $73 million.
Hasbro, however, did prevail in its court battle with MiTile Ltd., related to the game company’s Scrabble Flash, Simon Flash, and Yahtzee Flash. MiTile claimed that Hasbro infringed on its patent for manipulable, interactive, electronic game blocks. MiTile also pointed to discussions of potential collaboration it had with Hasbro prior to the release of the Flash games. Yet a federal judge in Virginia disagreed, granting summary judgement and ruling that Hasbro did not infringe. The judge, though, did not, as Hasbro had requested, invalidate MiTile’s patent.
While playing Backgammon in the office of his Cyprus taxi business, a man was shot and killed by a relative.
In China, a Mahjong parlor hires people to fill in seats at the table when guests want to play but haven’t brought enough players. These professional Mahjong players, however, are required to work for 12 hour shifts and are responsible for covering their own losses. People don’t stay in the job long.
A man in Greenville, Alabama got in to an argument over a game of Dominoes on his front porch. To emphasize his point, he fired his gun into the air. But then he continued shooting, at which point he hit and killed his girlfriend (not a player, just a bystander).
In Las Vegas, though, the girlfriend was the intended target. A man was unhappy losing at Dominoes to his girlfriend, so he choked her and hit her on the head with a hammer.
In a report of an assault at a Dominoes game in Lufkin, Texas, the victim complained of an elbow injury. Owie!
Thieves in Scranton, Pennsylvania stole a “Monopoly game worth $100” from an apartment in the process of being vacated.
Hasbro is contesting a trademark sought by Future World Electronics for “Moneyopoly” to be used in “scratch-off games incorporated into the advertising material of others used for promoting the sale of goods and services of others.”
Former world Chess champion Gary Kasparov has let go of his political ambitions in Russia and is instead planning to run for president of the World Chess Federation (FIDE). The incumbent, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, is the former president of the Russian republic, Kalmykia; claims to have been abducted by aliens; alleges that Chess was invented by aliens; and was a supporter of Libyan dictator Qaddafi.
Last month I mentioned two Michigan students for stealing money lost during a dice game. This month, felony robbery charges against them were dropped but they’re still being charged with illegal gambling.
In the remote community of Yarralin, Northern Territory, Australia, two men got in to a fight over a card game. They both went and grabbed weapons, one a nulla nulla (Aboriginal club), the other a shotgun. Take a guess as to which one won the fight (and was arrested).
Police in Baton Rouge arrested a man for shooting and killing a fellow player after the conclusion of a dice game.
Masked men attempted to rob a backyard Dominoes game in the Cayman Islands. When the assailants, armed with a handgun and machete, pushed the players in to the home, its owner closed the door before the robbers could follow. So instead, they ran away.
Players in Savanna-la-Mar, Jamaica were not so lucky. A group of gunmen attacked a Dominoes game there, killing three and injuring two more. Police have not yet determined a motive for the attack.
A jury in Portsmouth, Virginia found Calvin Alexander-Lamont Kitt guilty of murder for shooting his host over a dice game. The jury recommended 48 years in prison.
MEZMO is a new game by World Wide Chaos, INC where players work together to create a work of art. Players try to play tiles that appeal to their fellow players, while at the same time judging tiles played by others.
You can check out the full rules here.
Mezmo is available from Lyris Laser Studio for $20 (MDF) or $25 (Acrylic.)