The year 2016 is drawing to a close. Time to look back on a year that didn't go well with the network community with the hashtag #scheissjahr. 2016 was a year of mixed feelings, ups and downs - culturally, socially, politically. And despite all the horror news, there was a lot of positive to hear, especially for board players. In our annual review of 2016, we summarize the past twelve months in a nutshell.

Hunger for the Lion: The omens are intensifying

Asmodee is hungry. Long before the Leisure strategists showed a photo of a letter on the merger of the two publishers on their website, there have been clear signs of a merger in the past. Not the question of whether Asmodee and the Heidelberg game publisher Going together under a common name was interesting, but rather when it would happen. For PR reasons, at least the beginning of a new year has been chosen wisely, which supports the content of the information letter.
Merged last year Fantasy Flight Games and Asmodee Americaso that the endeavor on the part Asmodee, Board games by Fantasy Flight Games in Germany to distribute itself as a conclusion from this merger Asmodee America North suggested.

That the Heidelberger Spieleverlag would also be involved sooner or later becomes clear when you consider that, among others, the Heidelbären from Walldürn have been producing titles for years Fantasy Flight Games bring to the people in this country in localized versions. These include popular and successful series from the Star Wars universe, such as Imperial Assault, X-Wing, Armada, Star Wars Pen & Paper, as well as game titles on the subject of Game of Thrones or Arkham Horror.

The logistical partnership between the German branch of the French publisher already laid the foundation for the possible merger in August 2015 Asmodee and the Heidelberg game publisher placed.

In addition, an investor paper shows that at least Asmodee has ambitious plans for the future and wants to join the ranks of global players. Asmodee is already represented as a "game expert" in the most important industrialized countries. Through clever purchases, the publisher has secured many of the currently most popular game brands, including strong titles such as Ticket to Ride, Dixit and 7 Wonders. The fact that the publisher is really serious about “global playing” was already indicated in July 2016 by the start of discussions about the takeover of F2Z Entertainment Inc, whose portfolio publishers such as Z-Man Games and Hat Games Plaid counting.

Effects on the publishing landscape?

With the merger, the strong, but comparatively inconspicuous, Heidelberger Spieleverlag will become part of a global group. End customers will certainly feel the direct effects of pricing, whereby at least some strategic board and card games from the house of the Heidelberger Spieleverlag belong to the rather high-priced titles anyway. After the takeover, it feels like the focus of the publishers is even more on profitability than on promoting the cultural asset of "parlor games". At least from this point of view, mergers are always to be seen as a blessing and a curse. If you look across into the literature segment, it becomes clear that large corporations do not always have only positive influences on creative work, especially by independent authors. Nevertheless, there are clear advantages for customers in terms of localization, publication periods and availability from the financial strength of a growing company.

Press and public relations work will (hopefully) also benefit from the merger. It will take time to tell whether and what effects customers will feel.

Small publishers will probably have a harder time in the future if the trend towards self-publishing continues - and at least that is anything but happy for the publishing landscape.