Life is Strange dev reveals new studio and Battlecrew Space Pirates, a competitive online shooter

I'll give this much to Dontnod: It's doing a heck of a job avoiding pigeonholes. From the small-town adventures of a time-warping young woman and her best friend, the studio moved to an early 20th-century action adventure about a doctor who's also a vampire. And now it's off to make a competitive multiplayer shooter, with “high-paced gameplay, both accessible and deep,” called Battlecrew Space Pirates. 

You might be thinking to yourself, “Variety is nice, but I need another competitive online shooter like I need a hole in my head.” And I sure wouldn't argue with you on that point. But Battlecrew Space Pirates, going by the brief bits of gameplay seen in the teaser video—which I'm relying on because neither the press release nor the Steam listing nail it down one way or the other—is actually a 2D sidescroller. 

Battlecrew Space Pirates is being developed by new-ish studio Dontnod Eleven, a Paris-based outfit formerly known as Hesaw (or He Saw, as it's listed on Steam) that previously developed the rail-shooter Blue Estate. It will launch with two game modes and four unique classes, and feature “charismatic heroes” like a bidepal shark, a tiger with techno-goggles, and a cybernetic-eyepatch-wearing oldster named John Trigger. Dontnod promises the game will offer “regularly updated community challenges,” with unlockable characters, maps, skins, taunts, and game modes.   

“We are very excited about the announcement of Dontnod Eleven and its game, Battlecrew Space Pirates,” Dontnod CEO Oksar Guilbert said. “The goal of our collaboration is to help those talented independent developers and benefit from their know-how. They’ve been working on this game for about a year and we’re happy to help them achieve their goal of releasing this fun, exciting and innovative gaming experience.” 

Battlecrew Space Pirates will go live “soon” on Steam Early Access. 

Thanks, CGM.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.