Take-Two Interactive has announced Private Division—a new indie publishing label whose goal is to bring "titles from top independent developers to market", before making them "critically and commercially successful on a global scale."
With this in mind, Private Division will leverage Take-Two's resources as it represents clients not necessarily associated with independent game development.
So far, the new outfit's clients include: Panache Digital Games, the studio headed by Assassin's Creed creator Patrice Désilets, whose debut game is Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey; David Goldfarb and Ben Cousins' Project Wight; the Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky-led unannounced RPG from Obsidian; and Halo co-creator Marcus Lehto's V1 Interactive, who is developing an as yet unannounced sci-fi FPS.
Furthermore, Private Division is the publisher for Kerbal Space Program—Take-Two having announced this collaboration earlier this year.
"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 senior vice president and head of independent publishing at Take-Two Michael Worosz in a statement. "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."
In conversation with gamesindustry.biz, Worosz says Private Division has no minimum or maximum threshold so far as budget on the games it signs is concerned—underscoring the risk and, crucially, costs involved in developing new series.
"With the investment risk for video games now easily eclipsing $100 million in development spend, it's really hard to break new IP," says Worosz. "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.
"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."