We don’t usually report on publishing deals, but one such partnership was announced this afternoon that local gamers might want to keep an eye on.
Private Division, the publishers of Obsidian’s The Outer Worlds, announced today a triple deal with three studios for their upcoming projects. The studios include Roll7, the makers of OlliOlli, and Moon Studios, the makers of Ori and the Will of the Wisps.
I have a whole lot of questions around Moon Studios, given their history with Microsoft. But the more interesting part locally is that League of Geeks is part of this new partnership as well. The Melbourne-based studio, responsible for Armello, has been working on a new IP for a while, and the first game from that will be published by Private Division:
League of Geeks, founded in 2011 by Trent Kusters, Blake Mizzi, and Ty Carey, are the renowned developers of the seminal digital board game Armello. Located in Melbourne, League of Geeks is looking to expand upon the studio’s initial success with an ambitious, new video game and intellectual property in partnership with Private Division.
“It’s equally important for us to build games with heart that can rally and foster a dedicated community of players, as it is to develop games that are critical, cultural, and commercial successes,” said Blake Mizzi, co-founder and director at League of Geeks. “This partnership provides the opportunity for us to grow our studio alongside our ambitions to create something beyond anything we’ve developed before.”
Big publishing deals aren’t something you see a lot of here, at least not since most of the major international publishers shut up shop following the wake of the global financial crisis. There have always been some outliers, and Aussie successes over the last few years — Hollow Knight, Untitled Goose Game, Crossy Road, Golf Story, City of Brass, Crawl, Florence are just a few examples, and there’s plenty more on the horizon — have certainly broken through the barrier to international critical and commercial success.
With a bit of luck, more deals like the one between League of Geeks and Private Division will cause more major publishers, not to mention the first-party platform holders, to look at Australia more closely. It’d definitely help if the Federal Government got involved, but in lieu of that, Aussie studios are continuing to punch above their weight nonetheless.