Double Fine exec says publisher flexibility is key to getting devs more creative control

Patrick Carlson at

For Double Fine, publishing means partnership. And with its new Double Fine Presents publishing venture, the Broken Age developer wants to work towards supporting a games industry that is changing and becoming less "rigid," according to a new interview with COO Justin Bailey at Gamasutra.

"We believe the best games will emerge from arrangements where developers control the rights to their IP, own the creative vision, and where a publisher is incentivized to act like a partner," Bailey says. "One of our aims with Double Fine Presents is to help be a catalyst to bring this change to the industry. ... We've been publishing our own titles, and we know there's value there, but we're feeling around to figure how, or even if, we can leverage that externally to help other indies."

Two games that have seen the impact of Double Fine's partnership model are the recently-released puzzle-platformer Escape Goat 2 and the upcoming Last Life, a point-and-click noir adventure. Still, from the interview it appears Double Fine is reluctant to overextend its work with other developers, no matter if the assistance is called publishing or partnership. For now, Bailey says the studio is planning to help out just one more outside developer, before going back to evaluate the process and find out "what worked best."

"For the short term, we just want to test the waters out and grow organically," Bailey says. "We don't want to force anything. If it turns out to be successful for both parties, and there's adequate demand, then we can always ramp things up, but it's likely to be a slow process for us."