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SME Universe | Momentum wants to win the manufacturing game in Quebec



Even if we play it happily with the family between Christmas and New Year’s Day, board games are serious business for their publishers.

Despite their very young age – barely 2 years old – Éditions Momentum have played their cards well: the Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts company, founded in 2021 by Stéphane Fournier, has just placed its pawns in Europe.

“At the moment, we are distributed among the French equivalent of Renaud-Bray, a group called Fnac, he informs. It is a network of approximately 150 points of sale in Europe. If you want to have a place in Europe, it’s at Fnac. It is done. »

Extremely rare and perhaps unique case, the Quebec company manufactures its own games entirely, from the counters to the packaging boxes.

The start of the game

The dice were rolled during the pandemic.

During a game of Grand Masters, more precisely, this old auction game of works of art that Stéphane Fournier had taken out of a cupboard to distract himself with his wife and his 12-year-old daughter during confinement.

A printer of business cards and corporate stationery, he saw his business decline and he was looking for a way to get out of the game. He designed an improved version of the auction game, which he named The Reward, with the intention to make it himself.

One of the distributors he showed his prototypes to immediately showed interest; “but the proposal he made to me didn’t seem very fair to me,” says the entrepreneur.

“I left with my game under my arm and I toured Quebec, going to see all the game and toy stores,” he continues. The fact of saying that I was the one who made them in Quebec created a very strong receptivity and that brought me about 250 points of sale. »

Some time later, “the phone started ringing because all these people are passionate about the game”. “They all know writers who had a game in mind who asked me, ‘Could you make my game for me?’ »

He found himself a partner, founded Les Éditions Momentum in early 2021, then produced a preliminary series of 2,000 copies of La Récompense with the machinery of his printing press.

An article about his game appeared in The Press in June 2021 helped bring down the dominoes. Given the interest it aroused, Stéphane Fournier decided to acquire equipment specifically intended for printing board games.

In the fall of 2021, as the holidays approached, when several Quebec publishers were paralyzed by the delays of their Chinese suppliers, Momentum was feverishly producing in its Sainte-Agathe workshop.

Entirely made in Quebec

Momentum manufactures its game boards entirely.

The laser device with which the printer previously cut out the letters of signs is now used to cut the pawns of his games in plastic plates.

“We have a machine that allows us to print game cards and rules,” he describes. It is a machine that prints, cuts and staples in one step. It’s a crazy time saver. »

He also equipped himself to cut corners.

“We bought a machine to cut the round corners of the cards. Before, we had a machine that did it corner by corner. We managed to release 200 decks of cards a day. Today, with this machine, we take out 200 a minute. »


Equipment for cutting card corners

When the supplier who made his packaging boxes retired, he bought his equipment. “He trained us to make boxes and now we are able to produce a board game from A to Z.”

Jump in the Taxi

His reputation quickly spread in the middle.

“Distributor ÎLO307, which is a big player in board games in Quebec, asked us if we could make its best-selling game, Taxi [de BOOM Éditions] », Still relates Stéphane Fournier.

“We have delivered 10,000 so far. To achieve this, it was necessary to expand the premises. »


UV inkjet printer for game boards

The work was launched in July 2022 to be completed at the end of September, in time for the fall sprint.

“We now manage to release between 800 and 1000 copies per day, depending on the type of game,” says the entrepreneur.

If ÎLO307 places an order with us for 5,000 copies, we can say that it is delivered in three weeks. If you have 5,000 copies made by the Chinese network, it will be six months.

Stephane Fournier

It unlocks with Bloco

Stéphane Fournier entered into a partnership in 2022 with the manufacturer of Bloco construction games, designed by Quebecer Nathalie Barcelo.

“I immediately saw great potential in Bloco products,” he explains. It was also a springboard for me because Bloco has sold 1 million pieces in the last 10 years. It is a network that is international. For me, Nathalie’s know-how fell from the sky. »

It plans to launch in 2023 the cutting of Bloco game pieces, currently carried out in Asia. Only foam sheets will be imported.

Happy New Year 2023!

Les Éditions Momentum now employs a dozen people.

“What’s really interesting is that we are both publisher, manufacturer and distributor,” emphasizes Stéphane Fournier.

When we started, we had a small catalog with two or three references. Today, we have around forty references and around fifteen projects will be born in the first half of 2023.

Stephane Fournier

At the Cannes International Games Festival in February 2022, he concluded distribution agreements for European games that he wants to test on the North American market, with the aim of manufacturing them himself in Quebec.

“We have had orders and we already know that for such and such a game, we will launch production in 2023, which this time will be Quebec instead of Chinese. »

For a small Quebec manufacturer, it is possible to compete with China.

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