Take-Two Interactive has announced its new ‘Private Division’, a label solely devoted to publishing games from promising indie studios. Before we’re quick to label it as an indie initiative though, this is a AAA publisher getting to grips with publishing games with smaller budgets and smaller profits.
A number of studios have already signed up; the promising roster includes Obsidian, Squad, V1 Interactive, Panache Digital Games and The Outsiders. Panache is headed up by Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Desilets, and its debut title will be Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey. Meanwhile, Obsidian is working on an unannounced RPG, V1 Interactive is developing a sci-fi FPS and The Outsiders are working on horror game Project Wight.
"We have spent more than two years laying the groundwork for Private Division, building an experienced publishing team and signing projects with some the most respected and talented creative leaders in our industry," says Take-Two’s Michael Worosz, senior vice president and head of independent publishing. "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."
AAA publishers are normally loathed to back smaller projects as the large-scale revenue they’re after just isn’t there, making this intriguing development from Take-Two. The obvious goal here is for Take-Two to invest in many small projects in the hope that one or two break through and become major successes, effectively solidifying a potential new AAA franchise using a shoestring budget.