The publisher’s portfolio of titles will focus on “single-player games that have the ability to tell an intriguing story.” It plans to publish a select handful of games per year that match this criteria, and only for platforms that fit each title.
“Being selective and only focusing on one or two games at time ensures our devs are taken care of both during and after production and not feel like they’re just another name among 10 others we’re juggling,” Untold Tales CEO Maciej Laczny said in a press release. “We also want them to feel they’re allowed to focus on putting their game out where they are wanted. Times have changed significantly in how best to put a game out and that also means some platforms are better than others for certain games. It just doesn’t make sense to force devs to be everywhere to try to maximize exposure.”
Untold Tales aims to be a “cut the crap” publisher for both developers and players alike. For developers, it does not want the rights to their intellectual property, unbalanced revenue shares, or a rushed game to meet a deadline. And for players, it does not want “ludicrous three-tiered pre-order campaigns with paid downloadable content waiting in the wings for a month later,” and will support its games post-release with free updates or larger content as long as the developers are on board.
The first two titles to be published by Untold Tales are Beautiful Desolution for PlayStation 4 and Switch from South African developer The Brotherhood, and The Hong Kong Massacre for Switch from Swedish developer Vreski. Beautiful Desolation is currently available for PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam and GOG, while The Hong Kong Massacre is currently available for PlayStation 4 and PC via Steam. A third, unannounced title for console and PC is also in the works and will be announced at a later date.
“As of now there’s around 10 of us in total,” said Untold Tales head of marketing Pawel Skaba. “We all left Techland at various points in our careers to join other teams and endeavors, but mainly it was to build up experience and knowhow outside the AAA echo chamber. We’ve now been part of multiple game launches, worked with devs from all over the world, and ridden the waves of changes that keeps proving there needs to be more agile publishers who treat devs like partners and not manufacturers.”
Pawel continued, “We know there are already a handful of publishers out there who do good by their devs and players, but it feels like there are still so few of them. We’ve all seen the slew of publishing horror stories out there and a lot of devs have themselves been a part of these broken partnerships. We want to be one of the rare teams that show the gaming world you can do this all differently and approach both devs and players with total fairness and respect. Maciej, [head of business development Grzegorz Drabik], and I have known each other for a really long time. We’ve been through many situations and seen so many fair and unfair publishing partnerships so we firmly believe that with our experience and approach we can show that it can all work differently, better.”
Watch the Untold Tales publisher announcement reel below.