Life Is Strange creator Dontnod has been turning down acquisition propositions over the past few years to keep making games its own way.
According to leadership at Dontnod Entertainment, the indie studio is dedicated to maintaining its independence despite receiving multiple acquisition propositions. The developer is arguably best known for its hit indie title Life Is Strange. Though Dontnod developed the original game that launched back in 2015, and Life Is Strange 2, which released its last episode in 2019, the series has recently seen a different developer take the helm.
Long-time publisher of Life Is Strange, Square Enix, held a presentation earlier this year which delved into the IP’s future. During the show, the company revealed that the next installment in the series would be Life is Strange: True Colors, and will be developed by Deck Nine Games, the studio behind 2017’s Life Is Strange: Before the Storm. The announcement trumpeted the game’s new protagonist with previously unseen supernatural powers for the players to explore, and emphasized that the upcoming title would not be released episodically. Recently, the creators put out a trailer to better acquaint fans of the series with Life Is Strange: True Colors’ lead, Alex Chen. Showing off some of the character’s background, as well as the title’s fantastic graphics, the nearly two-minute long trailer reveals the game’s opening.
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Though moving away from the Life Is Strange franchise, Dontnot is making it clear that the studio will continue to provide games on its own terms, according to a recent interview with IGN. Over the course of the discussion, Oskar Guilbert, CEO at Dontnod, admitted that more than one company has shown interest in scooping up the Life Is Strange creator recently. The CEO, however, does not mention by name which companies approached Dontnod, and it seems that the offers were not seriously entertained; the studio turned down every offer. As for why the companies were turned down, the CEO points to Dontnod’s unique catalogue of games and states that being acquired by a larger company could interfere with the studio’s plans to create these kinds of games in the future.
Dontnod does seem to have a lot on the horizon right now, recently revealing that it plans to launch five games in the next four years. Despite the ambitious declaration, the company is silent on exactly what those games will be and when the titles will hit store shelves. While waiting for more news on Dontnod’s future plans, fans can look forward to a remaster collection coming this Fall which will include an enhanced version of the original Life Is Strange.
Getting adequate funding is one of the biggest struggles that indie developers face, and often, being acquired by a larger company offers small developers some financial peace of mind. Though it is not always the case, Dontnod’s fear of being forced to turn its back on making games like Life Is Strange is not necessarily an unreasonable one, though luckily it seems like the studio is doing just fine independently.
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