Don’t Nod announces co-development partnership with Tiny Bull Studios

Original Life is Strange developer Don’t Nod has announced a partnership with indie developer Tiny Bull Studios. Don’t Nod will publish Tiny Bull’s upcoming game and hold the majority rights of the upcoming title, which is noted to have “powerful sales potential in the buoyant action-RPG segment.” 

According to a statement by Don’t Nod CEO Oskar Guilbert, partnering with Tiny Bull has the benefit of “furthering our ambitions as a publisher and bolstering our asset portfolio.” Last year, Don’t Nod announced its plans to get into third-party publishing. Its first foray into this was the recently released Gerda: A Flame from Danish developer PortaPlay.

Guilbert added that its collaboration with Tiny Bull “underlines Don’t Nod’s commitment to supporting original creations in keeping with our mindset and values in a genre that appeals to a wide audience.” The press release referred to the partnership as a “big value generator” for the developer. 

Tiny Bull is based in Turin, Italy, and has primarily made mobile games such as 2012’s Space Connect. Starting with 2018’s Omen Exito: Plague, it began developing games for consoles and PC. 

“This is a great opportunity for Tiny Bull Studios,” said CEO Matteo Lana. “Meaningful games have always been our focus and we are looking forward to working with such an outstanding partner on our next project.”

Third-party publishing isn’t for everyone 

Don’t Nod is still getting off the ground as a publisher, and in the era of acquisitions and minority stakes, third-party publishing is on shaky ground. 

Earlier in the summer, Bandai Namco’s Arnaud Muller touched on its difficulties. In the case of Bandai Namco specifically, that means locking in relationships with developers so they don’t self publish their future games, or take them another publisher. That may be difficult for smaller publishers to pull off, which Don’t Nod arguably is. 

At the very end of August, indie developer Brace Yourself Games announced its own ambitions to become a third-party publisher for smaller indie games. Instead of trying to be the next Devolver Digital, Brace Yourself explained that it plans on being particular with the games it publishes. “It’s important to us that we only publish games we love and believe in, with teams that we’re very proud to work with.”

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