Dontnod has given a nod to third-party publishing, as the maker of the Life is Strange series said it will start publishing games for other game developers.
The first third-party publishing project is with Denmark’s PortaPlay. The two companies will co-produce an original game that meshes with Dontnod‘s own values. Those values are about creating emotionally charged story-based games about real people in realistic settings with the added touch of the supernatural. At least that’s what the Life is Strange series, which has sold millions of units, is like.
PortaPlay’s Hans von Knut Skovfoged said his Copenhagen-based studio is focusing on games with meaning, combining game mechanics and storytelling about people in crisis and facing moral dilemmas. Dontnod added more publishing and marketing functions last year to get ready for this expansion.
“As a publisher, we want to offer players experiences that are both accessible to the wider audience, while setting the bar high regarding themes and quality of design,” said Xavier Spinat, the head of publishing at Dontnod, in a statement. “From our first discussions with PortaPlay, it became clear to us that co-producing and publishing this original creation would allow us to expand our portfolio with a game complementary to our in-house productions, while remaining true to our DNA. We will be able to bring to our partner with our know-how and our knowledge of the market, in line with our communities’ expectations.”
Dontnod CEO Oskar Guilbert told GamesIndustry.biz last November that the studio wanted to be “as independent as possible” going forward. The company’s latest game, Twin Mirror, was the first title they self-published, having previously worked in partnership with Square Enix, Focus Home Interactive, and Microsoft for earlier titles.
PortaPlay has about 10 people. Dontnod has also raised money and expanded its own internal publishing plans. Late last year, Dontnod had two big games. Microsoft published Dontnod’s Tell Me Why in August and September. And Dontnod self-published a second game, Twin Mirror.
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