Publishers that put both the developers and the players of its games first are a rare breed. Untold Tales is a new specialist publisher based out of Poland that aims to “cut the crap” for players and developers and utilise resources that best serve the development process and player experience.
The company is the venture of former Techland veterans, who have come together after spending years in what Untold Tales Vice President and Head of Marketing Pawel Skaba describes as the “AAA echo chamber.”
“We’ve now been part of multiple game launches, worked with devs from all over the world and ridden the waves of changes that keeps proving there needs to be more agile publishers who treat devs like partners and not manufacturers,” says Skaba.
“We know there are already a handful of publishers out there who do good by their devs and players, but it feels like there are still so few of them. We’ve all seen the slew of publishing horror stories out there and a lot of devs have themselves been a part of these broken partnerships. We want to be one of the rare teams that show the gaming world you can do this all differently and approach both devs and players with total fairness and respect.”
Untold Tales will primarily focus on singleplayer games that offer players engaging experiences. Maciej Łączny, the studio’s CEO says that they will focus 1-2 games at a time, which he says “ensures our devs are taken care of both during and after production and not feel like they’re just another name among 10 others we’re juggling.” Furthermore the company wants to make sure that their games are being released in the right place, and they want the developers to be a part of that conversation.
“Times have changed significantly in how best to put a game out and that also means some platforms are better than others for certain games. It just doesn’t make sense to force devs to be everywhere to try to maximise exposure.”
Untold Tales’ Board of Directors
“Devs need to understand we don’t want the rights to your IP,” says Vice President and Head of Business development Grzegorz Drabik.
“We don’t want revenue shares where you end up screwed. And we’ll never expect you to release something that isn’t ready and just wrecks your studio’s reputation. Rather we’re going to have very open and transparent agreements, where a lot of our decisions will be based on data and community feedback and not some spray and pray mentality.”
So all this sounds dandy for developers, but what about the players?
“Expect honest conversations, clear responses and no ludicrous 3 tiered pre-order campaigns with paid DLC waiting in the wings for a month later,” explains Drabik.
“We’ll ensure our games are supported post-release as best as possible, be it with free updates or with bigger content if the dev team is onboard. It’s going to be a very clear ‘What you bought is what was the full game’ approach here from the start.”
The company’s first two releases will be VRESKI’s The Hong Kong Massacre for Nintendo Switch and The Brotherhood’s Beautiful Desolation for PS4, and the publisher reveals they have one unannounced game for PC and console up their sleeve that will be revealed at later date.
Check out the studio’s official website for more detail, and if you’re currently working on a game and want to talk shop with the Untold Tales team, you can use the ‘Submit Your Game’ feature to get the ball rolling.