Koch Media, a game publisher that runs the game publisher Deep Silver and is owned by the game publisher Embracer Group, has today announced Prime Matter, a game publisher.
But wait — this one is different! Prime Matter is a “new premium gaming label” that’s “dedicated to delivering immersive games from studios all across the world.” In a press presentation prior to today’s Summer Game Fest reveal, Koch showed off the type of games it was aiming to bring to the new label. Among them were some notable names from gaming’s past and a lot of all-new projects.
First, the most easily identifiable: Payday 3, the sequel to the 2013 co-op heist FPS, is going to be a Prime Matter game. Developer Starbreeze had already confirmed this for a 2023 launch with Koch Media so there’s no huge surprise it’s been picked for a move to the company’s “premium” brand.
Another blast from the even deeper past is the return of the Painkiller franchise. Painkiller was People Can Fly’s first game, a beloved if very mid-‘00s-edgy FPS in the vein of Doom and Serious Sam. It’s unclear who’s developing the new game — the only information we have is that it’s being co-published with Saber, which is, you guessed it, another Embracer subsidiary. We also don’t know whether it’s a reboot, a sequel, or basically anything right now. Koch says more information will be coming "soon."
Another notable project is Crossfire: Legion from Canadian developer Blackbird Interactive, which made the superb Hardspace: Shipbreaker and is currently working on Homeworld 3 for another Embracer-owned publisher, Gearbox Software. (This is all a little incestuous, I know.) Legion is a Starcraft-style RTS based on the CrossFire tactical first-person shooter franchise, which is obscenely popular in Asia. With Blackbird’s very strong background in RTS games (the studio was born from former Relic Entertainment members) this could lowkey be a huge game for this new publishing label.
Next is Kingdom Come: Deliverance. Koch sub-label Deep Silver acquired the developers of this 2018 RPG, and now Prime Matter is bringing it to Nintendo Switch. Oh, also King's Bounty II, which is due in August, is a Prime Matter game rather than a Deep Silver game now. Koch says “a number of legacy games” that it planned to publish from developers like Nine Dots Studios and Taleworlds will now be pushed through Prime Matter.
As mentioned, there are bunch of new IPs on the way, from mostly young studios around the globe, which is honestly cool to see. Here's quick rundown:
The Chant (working title)
The Chant is a third-person psychological horror game from Canadian studio Brass Token, set on "the tormented grounds of a new age cult." It's being directed by industry veteran and Brass Token creative director Mike Skupa, who was design director on Sleeping Dogs and Bully. There was a great interview with Skupa over at Eurogamer a couple of years ago, which includes some info on the game. It’s scheduled for a 2022 release on Playstation and Xbox (prior- and new-gen) consoles and PC.
Final Form (working title)
Final Form is from Polish developer Reikon Games and is described as an “adrenaline fuelled futuristic FPS with the player taking on the role of a cybernetic Valkyrie saving humanity from extinction.” Reikon previously partnered with Devolver on Ruiner, a hyper-violent cyberpunk shoot-em-up. There's no release window, but it's coming to PC and consoles at some point with three-player co-op. There'll be a deeper dive into this game at Prime Matter's event tomorrow.
Dolmen is being developed by Massive Work Studio out of Brazil. The elevator pitch is that it's a third-person action RPG that “combines futuristic sci-fi and Lovecraftian cosmic horror.” It’s penciled for a 2022 release on last- and new-gen Playstation and Xbox consoles and PC.
Echoes Of The End (working title)
This was probably the standout of the new IPs shown at the pre-E3 event. Developed by Icelandic studio Myrkur Games and built on Unreal Engine 5 for next-gen consoles and PC, it’s billed as “a story-driven single player” game set “in a unique fantasy world.” It looks to be a high-production-value action-adventure game, and the full trailer will drop June 11th during Prime Matter’s event.
This one is a classic RPG that’s currently in Early Access in Steam. Produced by Russian developer Dark Crystal Games, when it sees a full release in September it’ll be a Prime Matter game.
The Last Oricru
Google Docs kept on insisting I should correct this title to “The Last Orifice,” but either way this was giving off some very Dark Souls vibes. The unique twist this time is that it takes the classic “middle ages” setting and combines it with sci-fi elements. It’s being developed by the Czech team GoldKnights, and is scheduled for release on PC, PS5 and Xbox Series consoles in 2022.
Billed as a “dark sci-fi action adventure,” Scars Above comes from Serbian developer Mad Head Games, which is owned by Prime Matter’s sister company Saber. It’ll see “a lone protagonist having to survive on a hostile nightmare world.” Think “vaguely Dead Spacey” if your cultural references are as stuck in 2010 as mine. It’s being developed for a release on “PC and console platforms” in 2022.
As mentioned, Prime Matter has its own event tomorrow where you’ll be able to see some of these games for yourselves in more detail. Koch Media now has five publishing strands, because of course it does, but the basic gist seems to be that Prime Matter is at the top, and all major releases moving forward will be through the new brand. It’s unclear how Prime Matter will fit in with the broader Embracer group — Koch is just one of eight subsidiaries. Embracer has been aggressively expanding over the past couple of years, with acquisitions of major developers like Gearbox (Borderlands) and 4A (Metro).