By Sinking Asmodee In Debt, Embracer Has Jeopardized The Future Of Board Games

Was Asmodee solely responsible for all this debt wrongfully forced on it?

Story Highlights

  • Embracer Group is splitting into three units, but not before dumping $900 million debt on Asmodee.
  • Asmodee is a prominent name in tabletop games, and the debt is sure to dampen their quality.
  • Embracer Group’s reckless tactics have endangered many IPs already, but that wasn’t enough it seems.

The video game industry may have progressed immensely, but unfortunately, it also invited some nasty practices. One of these is making video games more and more of a business opportunity, and not caring for the repercussions of the aggressive money-making decisions. There’s a perfect example of this, Embracer Group.

Going on a reckless and illogical buying spree with nothing significant to show for it was never going to work out. That didn’t stop Embracer from treating studios and IPs as nothing more than products though. And then when it all came crashing down, nothing but ruin awaited those unfortunate games. The downfall was so severe that the name “Embracer Group” will soon cease to exist.

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Asmodee Is The Scapegoat For Embracer’s Screwups

Embracer Group has been in a financial crisis for quite some time now. And believe me, it has no one but itself to blame. The crisis has seemingly escalated so much that the massive company has decided to split away into three separately listed units, in an attempt to salvage whatever is possible

Embracer Group's new structure from here on
Embracer Group’s new structure from here on

Embracer Group will be no more, and instead we’ll have Asmodee, Coffee Stain and Friends, and Middle-earth Enterprises and Friends. However, there’s a catch. Embracer has reportedly secured a loan of $900 million for Asmodee’s assets, effectively placing almost all of its debt on this one scapegoat.

After being around $1.5 billion in debt, Embracer Group sold off Gearbox and Saber Interactive to clear some of it, while the remaining $900 million is apparently Asmodee’s problem now. And the explanation for all this? Embracer believes Asmodee has the best chance of clearing this debt, and they’ll cooperate to make it happen.

The way I see it, Embracer Group went on its buying spree because it had that $2 billion Saudi deal to fall back on. Thus, all they thought about was making as much money later as possible. When that deal failed, Embracer was in big trouble, one worth $1.5 billion. It sold off whatever it could, and pinned the rest on Asmodee to get out of this mess.

All these studios and IPs face an uncertain future now
All these studios and IPs face an uncertain future now

The One Suffering Will Be The Board Games Genre

Now, let’s look at some of the implications of all this. Asmodee is one of the biggest publishers of tabletop and board games out there. This conventional medium has a rich history and still has a massive following. Asmodee is one of the key figures in sustaining it. Now, what would happen if it had to clear a whopping $900 million?

byu/dorve500 from discussion

I think you’ve already connected the dots, but let me elaborate a bit. The interest on a loan this immense is only going to get harder to pay as time passes. Asmodee’s assets are practically a recompense in case of a default, and based on the company’s profit projections, clearing this debt will require its whole profit of nearly 4 years. I don’t know about you, but all this looks nothing but trouble to me.

How will Asmodee manage to keep things afloat? It needs to cut as much costs as it can. This means salary increases or incentives will be off the table, and there might even be a need for layoffs. In addition, production costs for games will likely be reduced, and we’ll be seeing an increase in the prices of board games. How do you think dedicated fans will react to all this? Not too well, I presume.

Board games, Cards, and tabletops are popular all over the world. When one of the biggest players behind them is forced to implement these strategies because it’s shouldering a massive debt, people are bound to move away or protest. The genre will suffer heavy losses no doubt, and Embracer Group won’t even exist to blame. 

Asmodee's tabletop games have brightened many lives; they still do
Asmodee’s tabletop games have brightened many lives; they still do

Even In Death, Embracer Group Continues to Destroy

This is a situation where I won’t be able to blame either Asmodee or the fans. Let me ask you this. Do you think Asmodee was the sole perpetrator of this illogical money-burning scheme? No, it wasn’t. Then why was all the debt pinned on it, while the other companies involved in the conglomerate got a free getaway? There’s no way this is fair.

And if this massive debt causes Asmodee to significantly reduce the quality of its tabletop and board game products, what then? To cover up its mess, Embracer Group has jeopardized the future of this beloved genre. The last thing I want is for people to start to hate it because the games have fallen in quality and now cost much more than they should.

First, Embracer Group killed the future of thousands of precious IPs. The horrendous Gollum ruined Lord of the Rings, Saints Row was an unrivaled mess, and I’ll never forgive Embracer for publically executing Deus Ex. And now, it has done the same for the board games, albeit with a slow-acting poison. All I can do is hope for the best, but if the worst comes to pass, it’s all on Embracer.

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Hanzala is a dedicated writer who expresses his views as opinion pieces at eXputer. He's always been fascinated by gaming and has been an avid consumer of many different genres for over a decade. His passion for games has him eager to encounter the latest RPGs and actively look for new Soulslike to challenge. He puts forth his experience and knowledge of gaming into captivating opinion pieces.

Experience: 8+ months || Education: Bachelors in Chemistry.

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