Take-Two Interactive has announced its high-end indie label, Private Division that aims to start publishing games after the first quarter of 2019. One of the first games under its belt is a big new RPG by Obsidian Entertainment.
Private Division is planned to make use of Take-Two’s excessive resources to bring “titles from top independent developers to market,” as well as those that aren’t always associated with the indie scene.
The label has been in development for more than two years, building rapport with and signing developers before Take-Two’s big announcement. Currently, the label has no plans to release any games during the fiscal year ending 31st March 2018 and 2019, but Private Division has partnered with makers of The Humankind Odyssey called Panache Digital Games; The Outsiders which is led by ex-Battlefield developers; Obsidian for a yet-unannounced RPG; and V1 Interactive, which is led by Marcus Lehto of Halo fame as he develops what he’s best at – a sci-fi FPS.
Kerbal Space Program is now housed under Private Division’s label after Take-Two’s acquisition earlier this year.
“We see a growing number of independent studios in our industry creating high quality games based on new IP, and our focus is supporting these types of developers and projects, and ultimately bringing incredible experiences to gamers around the world,” says Michael Worosz, senior vice president and head of independent publishing at Take-Two.
The publisher has no plans on setting caps regarding budget, as it plans to move forward treating each case as unique. This means weighing up the risk to reward ratio independently before auctioning a new series. It will distinctly be less than the multi-million dollars that its parent company, Take-Two is known for, however.
“With the investment risk for video games now easily eclipsing $100 million in development spend, it's really hard to break new IP. You're taking a new risk every time you try to bring IP to the market, and that's a big cheque to write for something that is as yet unproven,” Worosz continues in a statement to gamesindustry.biz. “This accomplishes a strategic goal of Take Two's, where we're helping to break new IP. But we're offsetting that risk by virtue of lower development budgets, and also by virtue of working with these proven creative talents. From a strategy standpoint, it all lines up.”
KitGuru Says: It’s uncertain whether or not Private Division will take the same stance on microtransactions as its parent company, as Take-Two Interactive has explicitly stated it plans to implement them in every forthcoming title. We don’t know much, but are you excited for any of the games that’ll be housed under the new label? I can’t wait to see what Obsidian has planned.