Untold Tales

Techland veterans form Untold Tales – ‘We simply want to cut the crap for both devs and players’

Today sees the unveiling of a new games publisher. Based in Warsaw, Untold Tales has been set up by former Techland employees. With the outfit concentrating on preimarily single-player games with “intriguing stories”.

It plans to focus on only releasing a “select handful” of titles each year and only on platforms that suit each title. It’s initial slate includes The Hong Kong Massacre on Switch – “a stylish slow-motion manipulation top down shooter” by Swedish devs VRESKI. And Beautiful Desolation on PS4 and Switch – an “isometric adventure game set in a post-apocalyptic Africa” from South African devs The Brotherhood. Plus a third unannounced title is also in development.

Maciej Łączny, CEO, said: “Being selective and only focusing on 1 or 2 games at time ensures our devs are taken care of both during and after production and not feel like they’re just another name among ten others we’re juggling. We also want them to feel they’re allowed to focus on putting their game out where they are wanted. 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.”

And the new outfit is keen to be seen as transparent and fair, both to developers and players, says Grzegorz Drabik, VP, Head of Business Development:

“Devs need to understand we don’t want the rights to your IP. 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. “

“As for 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. 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.”

Pawel Skaba, VP, Head of Marketing explains the size and composition of the team.

“As of now there’s around 10 of us in total. We all left Techland at various points in our careers to join other teams and endeavours, but mainly it was to build up experience and knowhow outside 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.”

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. Maciej, Grzegorz, and I have known each other for a really long time. We’ve been through many situations and seen so many fair and unfair publishing partnerships so we firmly believe that with our experience and approach we can show that it can all work differently, better.”

About Seth Barton

Seth Barton is the editor of MCV – which covers every aspect of the industry: development, publishing, marketing and much more. Before that Seth toiled in games retail at Electronics Boutique, studied film at university, published console and PC games for the BBC, and spent many years working in tech journalism. Living in South East London, he divides his little free time between board games, video games, beer and family. You can find him tweeting @sethbarton1.

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