Yooka-Laylee developer Playtonic is celebrating its sixth anniversary, and to commemorate the occasion, they’ve made a pretty big announcement- the opening of a new publishing label, called Playtonic Friends (which is the rebranding they were teasing earlier). Speaking in an interview with Eurogamer, Playtonic boss Gavin Price said that the new publishing label felt like the next big step for the studio.
“About a year ago now, on the back of launching Impossible Lair, there was an opportunity to do some reflection and say ‘Hey, how’re our games going, how’re our processes going, what do want to be doing with our own IP?’ But also as a business as well to think, what else can we be doing?” said Price.
Price also spoke about this next big step for the studio, saying that Playtonic Friends’ purpose is to help smaller titles get the recognition and success they deserve at launch. He remarked that with Playtonic staff (many of whom were at Rare during the Nintendo days) having had experience as first party developers, independent developers, and crowd-funded developers, they are in the unique position of having plenty to offer to indie developers in the industry.
“We like seeing great games come out and achieve success,” Price said. “We don’t like seeing great games come out and not get the attention or love, or the commercial success they deserve. Sadly that’s too common a story in the industry.
“We thought, well, if we can help great games come out and get attention and have that better chance, having given developers this long-term sustainability, everyone wins… We’ve always had people coming to us for advice, but one of the advantages of being old is having all this experience. We’ve had experience of being first-party, being independent, of doing crowd-funding. We have a lot to share.”
Price added that Playtonic isn’t looking for any specific types of games to publish, and that they want to have no arbitrary restrictions in place for the same. Additionally, developers they work with through the publishing label might be considered later for work on games in Playtonic’s own Yooka-Laylee universe.
“There’s no barrier to the types of games and people we went to help,” he said. “It would be arbitrary to say ‘we can’t help you because your game doesn’t have a million different collectibles’. There’s companies we’ll be working with and games we’ll be announcing which will make people go, ‘woah, how did we get from a chameleon and a bat to this over here?’
“But as we’re going to be working with great partners through the Playtonic Friends label, we may find some great people who can help us with content in the Yooka-Laylee universe as well.”
Three developers have already signed on with Playtonic Friends for their next games- Awe Interactive (developer of BPM: Bullets Per Minute), okidokico (developer of OK Golf), and Fabraz (developer of Slime-san).