Take-Two Interactive has announced that there's a new publishing label that has been established in collaboration with other indie studios such as V1 Interactive, Obsidian Entertainment, and Private Division in order to pump out indie and mid-budget games.
Polygon is reporting that the new publishing subsidiary is called Private Division, and it will focus on the games being developed for budgets under $40 million or so, or more broadly speaking, non-AAA games.
According to Take-Two, the company has seen an increase in quality indie titles made without large publisher funding and have decided to offer support for these studios by using the industry publishing platform to help market and distribute these smaller games.
Take-Two's new publishing outfit has no regional boundaries and will output games through the new label as a global entity.
The new label is already over the popular Kerbal Space Program and also set to publish a new project from Patrice Desilets, the original creator of the very first Assassin's Creed. Desilets has teamed up with Obsidian Entertainment for the new project while Private Division will be handling the publishing details. Desilets is also working with Panache Digital Games, and that project will also be handled by Private Division called Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey. Details on this game haven't been made clear, but it's been in development for the last two years and was described as an episodic indie with an AAA-style gameplay experience.
The other project that Private Division will be publishing is from The Outsiders, a Swedish-based indie studio working on a game called Project Wight. It's a first-person, hack-and-slash game set in an alternate reality featuring Vikings and lots of bloody melee combat.
The final game on the publishing slate from Take-Two's new division is from the start-up V1 Interactive. The game is being headed up by former Bungie alum, Marcus Lehto, who helped work on the original Halo: Combat Evolved.
This is a serious departure from the typical software fanfare that Take-Two is used to publishing. The publisher is known for its big AAA-style outings such as Grand Theft Auto and the upcoming Red Dead Redemption 2. The subsidiary, 2K Games, is also known for having published big-name games such as the BioShock trilogy or Gearbox Software's Borderlands games. The company has also seen major success with its sports division ran by 2K Sports for games like NBA 2K.
This is likely an alternative for Take-Two in case things like the current loot box and microtransaction monetary methods don't work out in the long run in the AAA titles. Publishing smaller games on smaller budgets with potential big returns -- as we've seen with games like Cuphead, A Hat In Time, Undertale and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds -- is probably the company's backup plan in case newer AAA games don't work out, which is what happened with Battleborn, which was a spectacular sales failure.