Don’t Nod promotes self-publishing and co-production

On the occasion of the Portzamparc Small & Mid Caps Forum, we were able to discuss with Benoît Gisbert Mora, CFO of Don’t Nod. An opportunity for us to better understand the challenges of the video game publishing sector, on which the company has built its strategic plan.

From its perspective, strengthening assets in the field of action RPG (role-playing game). Overall, Don’tNod seeks above all to improve the intellectual property preservation of its games, an ambition that involves abandoning pure development in favor of self-publishing or co-production. A studio that was involved in the creative part of publishing some of its games, such as Life is Strange, and which has allowed it to make a name for itself, no longer wants to be content with the developer royalties it was paid. . The Parisian company, also based in Montreal since 2020, now intends to fully enjoy the success of its games.

Busy production pipeline

In 2018, in co-production with Focus Home Interactive, “Vampyr”, an action-RPG, was released. The first convergence between the studios, which repeats the experience with the co-production of “Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden”, a role-playing game scheduled for release at the end of 2023. If the game budget allows, Don ‘t Nod also uses self-publishing, which is a method for the studio to present its own creations to gamers by becoming its own publisher. As such, “Harmony: The Fall of Reverie” was released in early June and “Jusant” is expected to be released next fall. The rest of Don’t Nod’s calendar expands with three more self-publications planned for 2024-2025, and two co-productions planned for the same period, one with Tolima studio and one with Tiny Bull studio.

On the other hand, there is no question of sacrificing the quality of the games to fit the €10-30m budget Don’t Nod has imposed on itself by choosing to produce so-called AA games. As evidence of this, Benoît Gisbert Mora particularly praised the quality of the facial animation in “Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden”, which gives the impression of an AAA game on a bigger budget. A score that is smoothed out by outsourcing certain creative stages, such as composing some of the music, sounds, and motion capture tasks, to deliver a notable quality.

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