The Friday poll is back! Today, we're talking about studios splitting from publishers while retaining the rights to their products.
While the big headlines of the last two years have been about studio acquisitions by big publishers — whether that's the big Xbox sweep of 2018 or THQ Nordic snapping up whatever scraps they can find — one of my favourite trends is the occasional plucky developer not only managing to split from their publishing overlords, but even keeping hold of the rights to their IPs. The biggest case of this before today was probably IO Interactive taking control of HITMAN
as a separate entity from former publishers Square Enix, though we also had ConcernedApe splitting from Chucklefish to continue developing Stardew Valley
solo. Now, Bungie have split from Activision Blizzard
and will self-publish the Destiny Series
This is always nice to hear, because my decades-long pipe dream is for Disney to let go of that big hoard of Lucasarts adventure game IPs that they are doing absolutely nothing
with and give them back to the likes of Ron Gilbert and Tim Schaefer. It'll probably never happen, so I take solace in other studios managing to get their creative endeavours included in their severance package.
The question is, what other studios and their corresponding IPs would you like to see wrest themselves from the corporate chain? Perhaps the most obvious contender is Bioware grabbing hold of Mass Effect
and Dragon Age
and cheese it over EA's back fence. We've prepared a selection of contenders for your consideration but please feel free to come up with your own wishful thinking in the comments!
Which Game Studio Would You Like To See Split From Their Publisher?
We've had 203 responses.
Bioware from EA, retaining rights to Dragon Age and Mass Effect40.39% (82)
DICE from EA, retaining rights to Battlefield8.87% (18)
Respawn from EA, retaining rights to Titanfall7.88% (16)
Ghost Story Games (formerly Irrational Games) from Take-Two, retaining rights to Bioshock8.87% (18)
Monolith Productions from WB Games, retaining rights to their Nemesis system1.97% (4)
Monolith Soft from Nintendo, retaining rights to Xenoblade Chronicles3.94% (8)
Criterion from EA, retaining rights to Burnout8.87% (18)
Rare from Microsoft, retaining... everything?16.75% (34)
Crystal Dynamics from Square Enix, retaining Tomb Raider2.46% (5)