Former F2Z Entertainment CEO Sophie Gravel, with eight of her colleagues from F2Z, has formed Plan B Games, a new game publisher headquartered in Quebec.  Asmodee announced in July that it was acquiring F2Z, parent of Z-Man Games, Plaid Hat Games, and Pretzel Games, (see “Asmodee Acquiring F2Z Entertainment”), one of the biggest events in the hobby games business of 2016  (see “Top Five 2016 Hobby Game Business Events”).

Plan B Communications Lead Lyne Bouthillette described what happened.  “In the contract, Sophie Gravel… was able to have the opportunity to start as a new studio again,” she said. “She left with some former members of F2Z to start anew….; we started to work together in October.  Now, we have launched, January 11, the Plan B Studio with former employees of F2Z. We're forming a dream team. We have really, really great members with us at Plan B.”

The company chose a butterfly for its logo.  “[T]he plan B of the caterpillars is really cooler than being caterpillars,” Bouthillette explained.  “We are now like butterflies, and we're having an incredible Plan B.

In addition to Gravel and Bouthillette, the Plan B team includes Foreign Affairs Manager Andrea Ahlers, Managing Director Genevieve Blouin, Lead Designer Martin Bouchard, Graphic Designer Philippe Guerin, Illustrator Chris Quilliams, Graphic Designer Karla Ron, and Foreign Affairs Assistant Katja Wienicke.

Plan B includes Pretzel Games, formed by F2Z in 2014 as a games studio specializing in dexterity games (see “Z-Man Parent Announces New Imprint”).  “We took Pretzel Games out of the deal with Asmodee, so Pretzel Games is part of Plan B,” Bouthillette said. “We will still have some good dexterity games that will come out each year.”  Pretzel plans two new games for 2017, including Gen Con release Flick ‘em Up! – Dead of Winter

Plan B is planning four games for 2017, beginning with Century – Spice Road, the first release in a game “trilogy” (see “First Title From Plan B Games”), and another three to be announced for later in the year.  With a smaller team, Plan B does not plan to have as many releases as F2Z, focusing on a smaller number of releases.  There are no limits on the game categories Plan B may publish (except that dexterity games will be published by Pretzel). 

Plan B will have an ongoing relationship with Asmodee, which will distribute to the Francophone market in Canada and Europe.

Plan B will distribute its titles (including Pretzel Games releases) exclusively through GTS Distribution in the U.S.  F2Z had distributed exclusively through Alliance Game Distributors in the U.S. between 2012 and 2016, when it ended its exclusive and began selling to the five largest hobby game distributors:  Alliance, ACD, GTS, PHD, and Southern Hobby (see “Z-Man Parent F2Z Opens U.S. Distribution, Ending Exclusive”). 

Asked why Plan B chose to distribute exclusively through GTS, Bouthillette explained that it was because of that 2016 experience.  “With F2Z, we have had the chance to work with the five biggest distributors,” she said. “Working with GTS, we always had great results.”

While Plan B has only announced a couple of its upcoming releases, Bouthillette promised more news in the coming weeks.  “We will have news about designers that are working with us…, proposing incredible games,” she said. “We will have great news.”