Asmodee Entertainment has announced a new licensing agreement with Trends International to produce and market a range of CATAN posters, which will be available exclusively from selected online outlets, including Trends’ own ShopTrends.com site and Amazon.
“Trends is excited to help spread the magic of CATAN by providing new merchandise that fans can collect and share,” says Greg Hill, Associate Licensing Manager at Trends International. “CATAN’s charm has never been limited to the tabletop – and is now expanding to your walls with the help of Trends’ poster products.”
Trends is a market leader and household name in posters and the agreement further expands Asmodee Entertainment’s push to establish the world’s best-selling board game as a true lifestyle brand.
“It is fantastic to welcome Trends International to the CATAN lifestyle merchandise family,” says Alexander Thieme, Licensing Manager for Consumer Products at Asmodee Entertainment. “We’re looking forward to the posters their creative team comes up with in the coming months and are sure that a great many CATAN fans’ homes will show even more of their love for CATAN soon. Exciting times!”
The first of this new range of CATAN posters from Trends are expected to launch in November and will be available from ShopTrends.com and Amazon.
The tabletop games publisher, Steamforged Games has launched its official Peaky Blinders card game, a new competitive title based on the multi award-winning television drama.
Aimed a three to six players, Peaky Blinders: Faster Than Truth forces players to keep their cards close to their chest as they navigate a gameplay inspired by the BAFTA award-winning TV drama. Set in 1920s Birmingham, the game features fan-favourite characters from the series.
Released worldwide on February 26th, Peaky Blinders: Faster Than truth centres on bluffing and tricking opponents. Like characters in the show, players can also choose whether to make alliances, break alliances, and even sabotage and steal from their rivals.
Mat Hart, co-founder and creative director at Steamforged Games, said: “When I first watched Peaky Blinders, I was instantly blown away by the vivid depiction of Britain after the Great War – a time of raw, bloody fighting for survival in an industrial landscape gripped by upheaval.
“We wanted to capture that feeling of playing your cards close to your chest, ever mindful of the razor-thin line between winning and losing. Blink first and you lose, and never forget that fortune smiles on the bold.”
Peaky Blinders: Faster Than Truth is available from game retailers in the UK priced at £14.99.
Asmodee Entertainment is embarking on a new partnership with the social gaming platform, Blok Party, to bring the wildly popular board game title CATAN to its TapTop digital tabletop device in 2021.
TapTop is a tabletop device that allows players to engage with digital versions of popular physical tabletop games, including other Asmodee titles such as Ticket to Ride, Splendor, and Codenames. The device also enables players to create their own tabletop games and card games, as well as interact with NFC figures such as LEGO Dimenstions, Nintendo’s Amiibo, or even Skylanders.
“I started in the video game industry in 1984 and have watched Catan take its place alongside the board game legends over the past 30 years,” said Gilman Louie, partner at Alsop Louie Partners, the lead investor in Blok Party. “Catan proves the value of having a social platform for board games, interacting with other players, making it easier to set up and play games, and allowing the game to merge digital and physical interactions through game play. This is a great partnership for both companies.”
Since its creation in 1995 by Klaus Teuber, CATAN and its many expansions have sold more than 32 million games around the world. The game is published in more than 40 languages and is sold in more than 70 territories. As the world’s pre-eminent boardgame, CATAN is a truly global phenomenon and enjoys growing success in the digital, lifestyle and entertainment categories through Asmodee’s carefully curated deals.
“CATAN has long been one of the premier board games so a partnership with the premier digital tabletop gaming platform is a natural fit,” added Christian Dunn, interactive licensing manager at Asmodee Entertainment. “Blok Party’s ambition matches our own and this deal is the first of several over the coming months as many great Asmodee titles will be coming to TapTop in 2021 and beyond.”
CATAN arrives on TapTop devices in early 2021, with more details expected soon.
Asmodee Entertainment has struck up a partnership with Plainview Shoes to take its popular Catan brand into the world of fashionable footwear. The new range, spanning flip flops and trainers, is scheduled to launch to the North American market in 2021.
Plainview has made a success of licensed footwear in the past, having previously partnered with Capcom to launch footwear based on its portfolio of video games. Under the Asmodee partnership, the firm will channel the Catan board game’s themes of trading, building, and settling into a new range.
“We are excited that we can add Catan to our portfolio of gaming footwear,” said Lyndon Tucker, president of Plainview Shoes.
“After partnering with Capcom for footwear based on various videogames, Catan was the logical choice for us to expand into tabletop games and its huge fanbase. Catan is the premier boardgame of our time. It truly is a modern classic and many of us let this quirky German boardgame into our lives in our twenties.
“Catan is both full of nostalgia and very current, with its central element of cooperative competition for the good of all and the stewardship of natural resources. Gaming Properties in the licensed footwear space are greatly underrepresented and we know there are a great many fans out there who look to express themselves with gaming-inspired footwear.”
David Harris, creative director of Plainview, added: “When Lyndon first talked about adding a boardgame brand to our portfolio, I had one hope: please let it be Catan!
“Catan has a unique design language and within the fan community there are many in-jokes around trading, building and settling. Concept works are already on the way and we are looking forward to the day when we can show more.”
Since its creation in 1995 by Klaus Teuber, Catan and its many expansions have sold more than 32 million games around the world. The game is published in more than 40 languages and is sold in more than 70 territories.
As the world’s pre-eminent boardgame, Catan is a global phenomenon that enjoys growing success as a lifestyle brand through Asmodee Entertainment’s strategic partnerships with carefully selected premium brand licensees. The collaboration with Plainview is one of several announced in recent months.
“We know how important Catan is for its fans. Trading, building and settling is an integral part of many of their social lives, be it through their regular gaming nights or through Catan tournaments. The game is a regular social anchor for many and with its elegant, nature-focused design elements it has already become a lifestyle brand,” said Alexander Thieme, licensing manager at Asmodee Entertainment.
“It is great to see Plainview coming on board as one of the first apparel licensees in the US, following Hot Topic.”
“The world is going to look very different now that Asmodee – one of the biggest players in the board gaming sector – is very actively pushing into licensing,” Alexander Thieme, manager of licensed publishing and consumer products, Asmodee Entertainment, promises.
The board game giant kicked off October with a show of force when it entered Festival of Licensing’s European leg with a tranche of partnership announcements covering both its hobby gaming portfolio and publishing imprint Aconyte Books.
Tapping into a fanbase and core audience of gamers and pop culture fans that are “positively starving for Asmodee licensing,” all of a sudden, the international hobby gaming specialist was landing graphic novel deals with CMON, bringing its artwork to the fore in pop culture collaborations, and partnering with the major entertainment studio, Ubisoft, to develop novels based on some of the largest video gaming IP on the planet.
Yet while it may seem there’s not been a day over the last two weeks that a new development hasn’t emerged from Asmodee Entertainment, Thieme confidently informs us this is just the beginning.
“It’s about time this happened,” he tells Licensing.biz. “The fans out there are hungry, they are starving for stuff. Whenever I talk to fans and tell that I do the licensing, I ask them what they are looking for – is it comics, is it this, or that? And they bite my hand off. They are really crazy for it right now.
“But it’s the truth to say that we are just getting started.”
And that must be music to the ears. As dedication to a cause goes, you’ll find few more resolute than the tabletop gaming audience and the connection they have with their favourite titles. Yet, for so long, this has been a vastly under-served, if not, unrecognised market. With tabletop, hobby, and board gaming reaching new global heights, Asmodee Entertainment is on a mission to change all of that.
“I was part of the inventory at Games Workshop for many years, and I know the fanbase and the depths of their immersion,” says Thieme. “But I was surprised at how strong the connection is here, between fans and their board game titles.
“Arkham Horror is one of those that I am just super fascinated with how positive or how engaged the fans are when we announce something. It is incredible, they just pour out their love. The trick now is to find the right partners that are willing to jump into the boat with us.”
This will be Thieme’s remit. In the ten short months since he joined the board gaming giant, he has already seen this side to the business begin to flourish. The formation of Aconyte Books last has been an ace up the sleeve for the games publisher, having given the company a swinging door through which to license in and license out. It’s allowed the company to align itself with major entertainment companies such as Marvel and Ubisoft, as well as a platform from which it can propel titles like Twilight Imperium or Arkham Horror outside of the board game space.
“For me,” says Thieme, “as much as Asmodee’s statement is that there is a game for every gamer, I believe that here, there is a brand for every licensee. It’s about finding the right commercial endeavours.
“Dobble behaves very differently and has different opportunities to Arkham Horror. Catan is a beautiful hybrid of a mass market casual game and a super-ingrained hobby game. All of this produces very distinct audiences and very distinct opportunities.”
It’s just a matter of unearthing them. And that is what excites Thieme the most. His is a vision for Asmodee Entertainment unburdened by limitations of the IP. His is a belief that the opportunities are boundless, and that the success can be big. Bigger even than video gaming.
“How far can the medium be taken into licensing? That’s a simple answer,” he says. “Look at other media, such as video games, and how they are branching out. We have three licensing managers here at Asmodee; me for publishing and consumer products, a licensing manager for interactive games – so we can do interactive licensing next to us having our own publisher, and we have someone in Los Angeles talking television and film.
“There is no segment or category that won’t work. Of course, it won’t be everything for all of it. Dobble as a movie will not work. Dobble in a TV show… that can work. Dobble in apparel? Absolutely. Dobble in publishing? Oh yes. Comics or a Dobble Kids’ magazine? Hell yes.
The chances that Asmodee has as a licensor are gigantic. But it is early days right now; we are getting the first people in the boat and getting the market used to the idea that there is more to a board game than just rolling a dice. Customers and consumers are emotionally linked to them.”
What is intrinsic to Asmodee’s output is its storytelling. The board gaming scene thrives off its immersive storytelling; it’s ability to bring an audience one level deeper into a narrative by having them play a role within it. Of course, you can argue that video games do it just as well. Thieme will argue back that what analogue gaming delivers, however, is a social, shared-experience of living a narrative together.
“There’s a social story happening with every board game,” he explains. “I and many others find stories in board games that we remember for the rest of our lives. These social stories are extremely strong, and strong for licensing because what you want is a brand that someone will wear in their heart.
“Board games are in the home, on the table and a part of your life, more so, I would say, than digital games. You see the people around you. You have a drink with them, it’s a shared experience and it creates social fabric, and this is the canvass that we paint the licensing programme on.”
It’s with this that Asmodee Entertainment can start to have fun with the licensing endeavours it embarks upon. Over the coming months or years, promises Thieme, fans will begin to see what he calls ‘licensing with secret handshakes,’ or ‘guerrilla licensing’; the kind that will nod to the internal jokes or idiosyncrasies found in individual gaming titles.
“I call them the secret handshake of the geek, the kind where you’ll have just a symbol on a hat or something subtle,” says Thieme. “Of course you’ll have more obvious ones, but games like Arkham Horror or Pandemic are good for those idiosyncrasies.
“I think this will all be very welcomed. I think there has been a media fatigue in licensing and people are looking to break the monotony and be more dynamic. It’s why I can assure you, Asmodee Entertainment has plenty more to come.”