New publisher Modern Wolf unveils a crunch-free games lineup

Modern Wolf is a brand new games publisher out to make a statement: that video games can be developed without subjecting developers to crunch or other practices that can take a toll on mental wellbeing. The company announced itself along with a debut trailer for five games in the pipeline for release over the next two years.

From NEO Scavenger developer Blue Bottle Games, there's Ostranauts—a "noir spaceship life sim" that's billed as a cross between RimWorld and FTL. It's a game about building and managing a ship full of people who don't always get along, but who have to work together in order to survive in the vacuum of space.

Necronator: Dead Wrong is a cute-looking mashup of deck building and tower defense. You'll send hordes of undead minions out onto maps that are reminiscent of Final Fantasy Tactics. That's from Indonesian studio Toge Productions, and it's due out later this year.

Keeping with the undead theme, there's Skeleton Crew, a physics-based "dungeon brawler" that lets you launch enemies at other enemies. Any game that lets you beat up a guy with another guy is alright in my book. That's from Cinder Cone and the creative director of Smoke & Sacrifice, and Modern Wolf expects it to launch late next year.

Out There: Oceans of Time is the sequel to Out There, and it's another sci-fi roguelike adventure that's due out next winter from Mi-Clos Studio.

Finally, there's Rogue State Revolution, which developer Little Red Dog Games says is "the first geopolitical roguelike. Here, you'll play as the democratically-elected president of a Middle Eastern nation that's just undergone a violent revolution. That one's still a ways off—Modern Wolf says to expect it sometime in 2021.

Modern Wolf's founders say their vision is of a games industry "that's more conducive to healthy creation," and they're committed to making sure their employees mental health is looked after while they're with the company. In a year when several major games publishers have faced accusations of rolling crunch and employee exploitation, it sounds like a pretty good idea.

For more information, check out the official Modern Wolf site.