CMON Ltd. Goes Public

By Polar_Bear
Dec 1st, 2016

Here’s a story we don’t see too often, but is rather exciting considering what opportunities it can bring. CMON Limited is going public tomorrow (December 2nd) on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange’s (HKEX) Growth Enterprise Market (GEM). Yup, the company is going public.

What sort of things does this mean for the company? Well, the influx of funds will allow CMON to move at an even-faster pace to bring you new games and accessories. This is something CMON has been working on for several years.

Chern Ann Ng, CEO of CMON Limited, explains, “We began laying the groundwork for this to happen in 2014, and this monumental achievement would not have been possible without the herculean efforts of the CMON family and outstanding support from the tabletop gaming community at large.”

The employees of the company, as well as the company heads, will remain the same.

So yeah, if you’re looking to invest in a game company right at the ground floor, CMON’s number on the exchange will be 08278.


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  • Davos Seaworth

    Great for the owners, and potentially for the shareholders, but you can kiss the days of getting mountains of exclusive plastic at a discount goodbye. Once the bean-counters and the lawyers move in, cost-cutting will be the word of the day, and we will all look back and remember what great deals we got during the good old days of Kickstarter. Kinda sad, actually.

    • Ghool

      It’s always a sad day when the bean counters take over a company – everything becomes about the bottom line, and zero-risk IP games take over the shelves.
      It’s looking more and more that the gaming industry is reaching the end of it’s innovative and grand Renaissance.
      With the move to public trading, gone will be the days of cool, risky, and innovative projects. And with the rest of the industry getting bought up by massive investment firms we can kiss the days of innovation goodbye.

      We’ll be inundated with hype, and lame IP-based junk in a few short years. When investors, lawyers and accountants take over something, it gets gutted.

      Not looking forward to this, and the changes we’re seeing in the gaming industry as a whole are going to see it gutted and empty in a few years. Hopefully KS will allow independent developers to keep making good games. From what I’ve seen happening to FFG, and Asmodee, there are very few games I want to purchase any longer, and even fewer new ones that even look remotely interesting.

      • Cergorach

        Innovation doesn’t make for a great or fun game, if that was the case, there wouldn’t be so many duds in game land.

        The problem is that what you think is a ‘good’ game doesn’t conform to the majority of gamers, at least the part of the niche CMoN, Asmodee or GW is targeting. Just like Hasbro is targeting a different group of people with Monoply and Risk…

        KS is still there for the small companies with unique products that just barely fund a fugly game. How many of those have you backed?

        • Ghool

          I’ve backed almost 50 projects, and most of them for new, cool looking games.
          I could be wrong. I’m not saying that. Just watch what happens when a company goes public and attempts to break into the mainstream.
          The creativity always takes a back seat. It’s not about making a good game that will sell. It’s about making a game that will sell.

          There’s a big difference.

          • odinsgrandson

            I’m willing to wait and see.

            I’ve known for years that CMON wanted to go public, so this isn’t much of a surprise to me.

            I know there is a certain game company that often makes choices that alienate us older gamers, and it is always blamed on the bean counting investors.

            But that’s not necessarily the case. Public companies can (and often do) make good choices. CMON is a publisher of games designed and developed by smaller studios (Guillotine, Spaghetti Western, Studio McVey etc).

            There’s absolutely no reason why they can’t keep doing what they’ve been doing (their investors should be able to see that it works, at any rate).

          • Ghool

            I understand your point.
            But, when investors get involved, there’s one thing they are after – maximizing the profit margin so they get paid higher dividends.

            That’s all investors want, and the only reason they invest in anything at all.

            The maximizing of profit solely for reasons of profit will always determine the reasons for spending on anything going forward.

            Investors aren’t happy making a solid 10% profit every year. They want to get 20, 30% or more every year, and want to steadily increase the growth 10% year on year.

            The only way to do that is to curb spending, and risks. Regardless of what company does become publicly traded, this is what happens. Always. Every time. It doesn’t matter what impressions other companies have made, including GW.
            It has nothing to do with GW. It has everything to do with investors getting involved, and always wanting more and more profit. I work retail in a publicly traded company and this is how it is, and how a business MUST operate if they are publicly traded.

            Investors don’t like to lose any amount of money. If they start to, or they aren’t making enough cost-cutting becomes the first priority. That means less re-invested, designers get paid less, and quality falls in order to keep investors making money. Public companies can literally crumble overnight if investors are unhappy, or start losing money.

            Like I said, I could be wrong. But based on my experience, and what I am seeing happen, it is almost 100% the case with Asmodee already, and soon, CMoN. Game prices have almost tripled in the past 7 years. And they will continue to rise astronomically as more companies are bought up by larger firms.

    • Cergorach

      You know why CMoN KS do so well? Because of expectations of a decent to good game AND tons of ‘free’ stuff. If that were to change drastically, people would most likely drop out en mass.

      Look at what happened with the recent Shadows of Brimstone KS. The KS was stuck for two weeks at a certain number, the company had to scramble in new SG, add new addons, rethink their fulfillment outside of the US, and add some massive pledges to eventually wind up with 20% less raised then their first KS. That’s with a change of theme and the game being a fan favorite (Cowboys vs. Ninjas, Ninjas win every time).

      If you compare that to CMoN games or the recent KDM, every KS in a game line raises more then the previous one.

  • n815e

    This is bad news for consumers of their games. I am not one of them (since they still owe me money from when they were ripping off their customers as New Wave).

    • Adam Connor

      Not surprised. I am in the same boat. Still missing many confrontation minis. Took 6 months to deliver some. Was happy to finally be able to order super dungeon explorer after they split.

  • Ghool

    I wonder how long it will take for Asmodee to swoop in and buy it all up, mark everything up 40%, and stop using KS all together?

    • Cergorach

      When did that happen? Days of Wonder, FFG and English Catan didn’t do any KS. And I’ve not seen 40% price increases from either publisher…

      • Ghool

        You…haven’t seen…price increases…what?
        I could buy a single X-wing for the X-wing game for $15 CAD before Asmodee enacted their policies.

        That same ship is now $26CAD.
        That’s a 60% increase.

        Armada used to be had for $99CAD.
        Now it’s $130.
        That’s a 30% increase.

        TTR used to be $45CAD.
        Now it’s $65.
        Almost 50% increase in price.

        Average them out.
        While not everything has seen such drastic increases, across the board everything jumped by at least 20%, AND the newer games are coming out with even less in the box. And the expansions are coming out even faster and more furiously.
        And most of that is for licensed IP’s.

        So. Yeah. I could be wrong. Not likely.
        But, I could be.

        • mike

          They’re still those prices USD

  • hvedhrungr

    CMON going public is going to be seen as the first step toward mainstreaming. I predict they’ll be bought up within the next 5 years, probably within the next 3. Then, their properties will be thinned out, at least half will die off, and the other ones will see a price spike of at least 30%.
    However, all is not lost. There are smaller companies that still publish nice games. Some of the Europeans now push out nice miniature-based games.
    Every year, walking around Essen Spiel, I see a lot of smaller companies that do better than what the big ones are doing. Many of the mainstream game companies are publishing rehashes of older games, or endless expansions/remakes/new editions/add-ons of the same properties.

    • odinsgrandson

      I believe that is what happens when a company is bought so that it can be re-sold. It is not what always happens.

      And besides all of that- CMON does not own most of the properties that make it big. CMON publishes games while allowing the designers to keep the rights (this is why Sodapop Miniatures was able to leave CMON and keep Relic Knights and Super Dungeon Explore).

      If CMON becomes an awful place to publish, then we will simply see new kickstarters for Zombicide, Blood Rage and Arcadia Quest run by the developers.

      Or they might follow Sodapop and publish with Ninja Division.

      If the contolling investors can see the business strategy CMON has (and that it is working) then this won’t be a problem.

      • hvedhrungr

        I hope you’re right, I sincerely and honestly do. But experience seems to favour the other side, namely that the new owners want to see a profit, the bigger the better.
        That simply isn’t the main focus of a lot of the properties in CMON’s portfolio, they’re there to be published and available, some of them works of passion, and not really money-making schemes cast in cheap plastic.

        • odinsgrandson

          You might be right, of course, it all depends on whether the investors understand what CMON does that works, or if they want to ‘correct’ CMON’s working business practices.

          And I do honestly believe that if CMON does not keep their developers happy, those developers will move somewhere else, like Sodapop did.

  • Kaihaku

    Probably smart of them to grow as fast as they can now… 3D Printers are going to salvage the physical market in another decade and then they’ll just be selling printable designs.

  • Andrew Franke

    I think all this sky is falling talk is ridiculous. They went public on the HONG KONG exchange. This makes the rules governing who controls the company very different. We do not know for example if the owners surrendered controlling interest or not, If not then all of your speculations are baseless, The company can run as it has been run. If they have surrendered control then it is like any other company that sells. We will see what happens under new management.

    The owners of Games Workshop surrendered control of their company. It was disastrous in the long term. I have not heard that CMON did that and I think that going public on the Hong Kong exchange gives them many more less regulated options for keeping control of their company than if they had gone public in the United States where hostile takeovers are an option. This is not the case under Chinese Law.

    • Ghool

      It’s not about the sky falling. I’m just making a point that this is what happens when companies invite other investors to take part in their scheme.
      Whether controlling interest has been given up doesn’t matter. It’s now a board that votes on where the money gets allocated.
      That can be a very bad thing, regardless of who controls the company. If investors are unhappy for any reason, it can devalue the stock, and the company.

      It’s not about the sky falling. It’s about being knowledgeable about what might or could happen.
      It’s just a discussion, and speculation. I don’t think anyone’s being overly emotional about it.

      • Andrew Franke

        The board is elected by the person with the controlling interest, or persons. Yes stock can drop and devalue the “Price” of the company. Unless they issue new stock or are worried about return on their own stock the company which I am sure is doing well financially, or no one would invest, they can manage through a tough time. Going public unless you surrender controlling interest does not mean you must change the way you do business,

        Facebook is a public Company but Mark Zuckerburg(sp) has controlling interest and NO one tells him how he must run his company. If they did it would be one giant ad platform by now and it just isn’t.

        Again public or private the person with the controlling interest will control the direction and future of the company.