Curve Digital is on the hunt for the next big indie hit.
The firm, fresh from its acquisition by The CatalisGroup, now has the financial backing to sign larger projects. And is heading to events like GDC in an effort to find them.
We're a small publisher that has a capacity for about eight or nine full releases this year,” says Curve's publishing director Simon Byron. "The vast majority of them are signed up or close to being signed.
Previously I'd go to events Interface and people would come and pitch games. I'd sit down and ask whether they want money and we wouldn't be able to help them fund. Historically, Curve didn't have a huge amount of money in helping people finish games and what the Catalis acquisition has done is help us do that new, more expensive and ambitious market, titles that are raising the expectations of what an indie game can be. Previously Curve would have struggled to compete in that market.
But now, we are – alongside looking for individuals making games on their own – able to invest in titles that need funding. In terms of 2016, you're going to continue to see the evolution of Curve. Titles like Action Henk, Hue and more coming down the line are moving away from what we may have considered to have been a typical Curve game before. More 3D games. And you'll see that continue in 2017 onwards.
Before we'd have been limited in the way we can work with people in terms of not being able to give them full funding. We've done small amounts of completion funding before.”
"What the Catalis acquisition has done is help us do that new,
more expensive and ambitious market – the titles that raising
expectations of what an indie game can be."
Simon Byron, Curve Digital
Curve is not a new outfit - the firm started out as a developer, before moving into publishing hit PC games on console. The likes of Stealth Inc – arguably its first smash hit – originally launched on Steam in 2012 as Stealth Bastard before making the transition to PlayStation platforms in July 2013.
Since then the company has ramped up its offering, launching games such as last year's The Swindle and Nova 111 on PC and console simultaneously, making PR and marketing infinitely easier.
And it's this long heritage that Byron believes helps Curve stand out in the increasingly busy indie publishing scene.
We emerged from being an indie developer ourselves,” he explains. We have been in development for years. From that point of view we are well aware of the challenges that developers historically have with publishers. We understand what it takes to create a game and we also understand what it takes to publish them.
"Merging those disciplines together gives us an advantage that other companies don't have. We've got a team of coders here, we have artists who are able to support development, producers who submitted over 150 SKUs so we understand the process on the likes of PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, Steam and Humble.
On the publishing side we have a team that has worked across games franchises for years, some of the most successful games globally - stuff like Guitar Hero, Pokmon, Candy Crush. Understanding how it all fits together is important. Our contracts are super straight forward, our PR and marketing is second to none.
And now with the added weight and backing of the Catalis Group behind us, that has completed the jigsaw.”