Asmodee announced that earlier this month it has acquired Board Game Arena. The leading games' publisher and distributor have acquired one of the biggest digital board gaming platforms.
What is BGA?
If you are not familiar with Board Game Arena (BGA), it has been online since its inception in 2010. BGA now hosts over 250 games with 5 million members gaming in over 40 languages.
For more than a decade, founders Gregory Isabelli and Emmanuel Colin have continued to develop BGA. What started as a passion project is now one of the largest independent online board game platforms. This is a place where members are able to try a variety of titles from a huge list of publishers.
They have not achieved this alone, however. The BGA community is an active one! Its continued success has relied in no small part on the support, skills, and commitment of its members. But, ultimately, with only two heads at the helm, coordinating and managing everything, the service has outgrown its parents.
With its acquisition by big hitter, Asmodee, however, will its independence change? Will the catalogue of available titles begin to focus on those published by its new owner? Will membership benefits be modified as a result of being under the Asmodee umbrella?
Isabelli and Colin believe not – seeing the partnership as a way to guarantee more of what they are already doing. “Working with Asmodee allows us to continue our massive growth, with a partner that shares our love and passion for board gaming. Asmodee fulfils a sine qua non-criteria for us: that BGA is always run by absolute board game fans whose core business is board game.”
Asmodee appears to be putting board gamers at the centre too: "Our growth is based on one crucial commitment: offer the best gaming experience to consumers and bring our brands to the widest audience. Having a platform that allows players from all over the world to meet, play their favourite games together or discover new games is a natural fit alongside our amazing catalogue of board games. Skull and Splendor will be in the coming weeks the first of a long list of Asmodee releases on the platform: we hope that players will enjoy them!" (Thomas Koegler, Head of Strategy at Asmodee).
As a member of BGA myself, I must confess to being a little nervous about the acquisition. Although promises of complete independence have been made, I can’t help wondering. I wonder if we will see more home-grown titles as licenses, availability and promotions are placed in the hands of Asmodee.
Right now, nobody can say for sure. It will, however, be interesting to see what the platform looks like in 6 months’ time.
Please click here if you would like to read the BGA announcement in full.