Scavengers studio sold to Dead by Daylight dev

(Image credit: Midwinter Entertainment)

Midwinter Entertainment, developer of the extremely decent Scavengers, has been sold by parent company Improbable to Behaviour Interactive (thanks, Eurogamer). Behaviour Interactive is of course best-known for Dead by Daylight.

Thanks to the sale, planned console versions of Scavengers have been cancelled, though the PC version remains live. The bulk of Midwinter Entertainment—founded by former 343 Industries folk—is now working on another project. The rights to Scavengers remain with Improbable.

Scavengers was built on Improbable's SpatialOS tech, and the hype was of fights on a scale never-before-seen thanks to this. I actually really enjoyed Scavengers, but not for this reason, and it's a game that basically fell flat and hasn't found an audience.

"We are thrilled to join and learn from a team with proven success across a broad spectrum of IP," Midwinter's Mary Olson told Eurogamer, "While in turn leveraging the strong foundation, culture, and team we've built at Midwinter to expand Behaviour's portfolio. Plus, Midwinter will be able to leverage 30 years of legacy and join forces with one of North America’s fastest-growing gaming studios."

It does rather sound like Midwinter's got out at the right time, because Improbable's boss commented on the sale while talking about how the studio didn't fit in with its focus on the metaverse. Improbable is a publisher that has raised an enormous amount of money, but delivered nothing in terms of the experiences it provides for players—and Scavengers is probably as close as it came to a great game.

Midwinter was bought by Improbable in 2019. It's the second studio to be sold by Improbable this year, following the sale of its stake in Inflexion Games to Tencent in February 2022. Let's hope this gives the developer another shot at the big-time: Scavengers was my personal pick last year, and is the comfort food of battle royales. The game's commercial failure is sad to see, but it's not down to quality. Improbable, meanwhile, has been talking a good game for many years—but when it has one, doesn't know what to do with it.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."