In the announcement (via Polygon), Take-Two described Private Division as a “developer-focused publisher” that will give independent studios the ability to develop the games they want to create. This includes giving them the support they need to make these passion projects critically and commercially successful. All developers that publish through this label will be able to retain the rights to their intellectual property.
Private Division is now the publisher of Squad’s Kerbal Space Program, which was acquired by Take-Two earlier in 2017. Other upcoming games include Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey from Panache Digital Games, an unannounced role-playing game codenamed Project Wight from the Outsiders, another unannounced RPG from Obsidian Entertainment, and an unannounced sci-fi first-person shooter from V1 Interactive.
Based on the talent working these independent games, they are anything but small. The RPG from Obsidian Entertainment is being led by Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky, co-creators of the original Fallout. V1 Interactive and its sci-fi shooter were founded by Halo co-creator Marcus Lehto. Ancestors is developed by Panache Digital Games and Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Désilets.
“We have spent more than two years laying the groundwork for Private Division, building an experienced publishing team and signing projects with some the most respected and talented creative leaders in our industry,” Michael Worosz, senior vice president and head of independent publishing at Take-Two, said in a statement. “We see a growing number of independent studios in our industry creating high-quality games based on new IP, and our focus is supporting these types of developers and projects, and ultimately bringing incredible experiences to gamers around the world.”
This move into independent publishing follows similar efforts including Electronic Arts with its EA Originals label, and Annapurna Interactive, a division of Annapurna Pictures. EA Originals is publishing A Way Out and Fe, while Annapurna has already released What Remains of Edith Finch and Gorogoa.
Private Division’s headquarters are based in New York City, with additional offices in Seattle and Munich.
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