Take-Two is the latest major games publisher to open up an indie label. From the sounds of it, Private Division will operate like a smaller scale version of Take-Two itself, giving developers leeway to work on things at their own pace and not worry about pumping out a sea of annual sequels.
So far, it's signed projects from a handful of former-AAA developers including an RPG from David Goldfarb (Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 3) and an unannounced RPG from fan-favorite Obsidian Entertainment (Fallout: New Vegas, South Park: The Stick of Truth). That's in addition to Assassin's Creed creator Patrice Désilets' Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey. Oh, and it's also publishing Kerbal Space Program and Halo co-creator Marcus Lehto's unnamed new sci-fi shooter.
Aside from the upcoming Kerbal expansion, none of the other games are expected to be released anytime soon. The fine print on a press release says that none of the other games are planned for Take-Two's fiscal years ending March 31st, 2018 and 2019. Which is understandable considering most games take between two and three years to develop, on average.
Major publishers setting up indie labels has been a win-win so far. Electronic Arts has its EA Originals program which currently has Fe and A Way Out in gestation. Then there's Microsoft's ID@Xbox program, Square Enix Collective and Sony's recently-launched Unties imprint. These help give the big names cred and a place for pursuing risky ideas that might not fly in the AAA space. It also means that the quirky games get a marketing budget so they don't languish unheard of on Steam or your favorite digital store.
Check out the slick introduction video above for glimpses at what the teams are working on.