Rio Grande lose or give up on Carcassonne


Hans im Glück is the German publisher who own the very popular board game Carcassonne. Carcassonne is also available as a computer game via Xbox Live – which goes some way to show just how global it has become.

Up until this month Rio Grande Games had the rights to publish the English version of Carcassonne. Given how popular Carcassonne is it is easy to speculate that that was a good position for Rio Grande to be in.

Yesterday, Hans im Glück announced a change in the licensee for English language games. They noted;

Rio Grande will no longer be our English License partner. Zman Games has been appointed our new English License partner.

This license includes all new products as it includes the older ones, especial all “Carcassonne titles in english”, which will be available through Zman Games from Fall/Winter 2012 on.

Straight forward? Rio Grande lost the license. That’s tough but it does happen in both RPG and board game publishing. Perhaps not. It may be a case of putting on a brave face, may be a false report, but Rio Grande apparently posted on Facebook to say they had been “reducing the number of games we co-produce and distribute from other companies”. Here’s the full quote;

In an effort to simplify our product line and to better focus on our core business of providing the best games to our customers, Rio Grande Games has been reducing the number of games we co-produce and distribute from other companies. The final step in this process will occur at the end of 2012 when we end our publishing of games from Hans im Glück. We expect to continue our other publishing arrangements with our other partners and will also expand our own line of games. This includes more products to support Dominion and Race for the Galaxy and to add new games to our own line of game. We thank our loyal customers for the support we have received in the past and expect this new direction will enable us to provide even better games in the future.

This quote appears at Board Game Geek who attribute this Facebook link as the source.

Annoyingly, Rio Grande haven’t set up a proper Facebook page and are on the social platform, in effect, as a person. I can’t access the post to confirm whether it’s still there for “Friends” – but for non-friends, it looks to be gone.

I suspect Rio Grande lost the license and are putting on brave face. Companies can’t be seen to be weak.

Do you have a theory?

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RGG is Jay Tummelson and his wife, so it's more surprising that they were able to put out so many games in the first place. I'm also assuming that's why they don't have a Facebook page, although I occasionally see a RGG post on BoardGameGeek.