Payday Developer Starbreeze Announces Move Into Publishing With Raid: World War II

by Mike Futter on May 08, 2015 at 10:45 AM

Starbreeze, the developer behind the Payday franchise, has announced that it is opening a publishing business. The company has signed its first client, Croatian-based Lion Game Lion’s Raid: World War II.

In an announcement, Starbreeze says it will be focused on becoming a “catalyst for developer’s success.” Those that work with Starbreeze will be encouraged to retain part ownership of their intellectual property.

The model put forward sounds similar to Devolver Digital, which has been at the forefront of indie-friendly publishing. We reached out to Devolver to find out how its IP ownership terms compare. “Devolver does not own any part of the IPs of their partners,” a representative told us via email.

Starbreeze says it will leverage its experience in digital publishing, distribution partnerships, and marketing to support partner developers. In the case of Raid: World War II, Starbreeze is providing $8 million of development funding.

The company has the opportunity to recover up to 120 percent of its investment with a 50/50 royalty split afterwards. Lion Game Lion and Starbreeze will each own 50 percent of the intellectual property rights for the title.

Raid: World War II is described as a four-player shooter, with players cooperatively fighting through the events of the second World War. Starbreeze previously collaborated with Lion Game Lion to create Payday 2’s The Bomb DLC released earlier this year.

[Source: Starbreeze]


Our Take
The Devolver model is a good one that has brought a number of surprisingly delightful games to the forefront. Hotline Miami, Ronin, Not a Hero, Enter the Gungeon, Broforce, and others might not be on my radar if not for them.

I hope that Starbreeze can do the same for Lion Game Lion and other studios with great ideas, but in need of assistance. The landscape is changing and more publishers curating great indies is good for everyone.