This announcement comes after statements last year from Dontnod CEO Oskar Guilbert, who said then that the developer was building a publishing and marketing arm to self-publish its own games, intending to be “as independent as possible” in the future.
In a statement, Dontnod head of publishing Xavier Spinat indicated that this was by no means the end to internal development at Dontnod:
“As a publisher, we want to offer players experiences that are both accessible to the wider audience, while setting the bar high regarding themes and quality of design,” he said. “From our first discussions with PortaPlay, it became clear to us that co-producing and publishing this original creation would allow us to expand our portfolio with a game complementary to our in-house productions, while remaining true to our DNA.”
Dontnod most recently released two of its own games last year: Twin Mirror and Tell Me Why. Our review called the former a “frustratingly uneven adventure,” but Tell Me Why told “a good story in a charming world” and received praised for its main character Tyler, the first playable transgender video game hero from a major studio.
It is unknown what Dontnod might be working on next itself. Earlier this year, Tencent purchased a minority stake in the studio to help it create a new IP, and at least for now Dontnod’s acclaimed Life is Strange series appears to be in the hands of Deck Nine for the next entry, True Colors.
Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.