[From the industry] Kowloon Nights announces 23 new titles, continues to quietly revolutionize game funding

This is a press release, posted unchanged in addition to our usual news coverage. 

With over $100m to support independent developers looking for an alternative to publishers, Kowloon Nights has directly financed over 40 teams across the world.

Today, Kowloon Nights announces a series of new partnerships with a host of unique creative voices that includes: Kaizen, Massive Damage, Mimimi Games, Night School, Roll7, Sabotage, Sloclap, and Thunder Lotus. By funding these studios and projects outside the typical developer-publisher arrangement, Kowloon is supporting a vibrant community where game developers retain their creative and financial independence.

“We are incredibly proud to work with such talented studios and developers whose innovative work previously has brought to the community games ranging from OlliOlli to Paradise Killer to Absolver to Spiritfarer to Oxenfree and more,” said Lindsey Rostal, Partner at Kowloon Nights. “We feel Kowloon is uniquely positioned to help developers pursue their visions while building sustainable studios.”

Kowloon Nights is the first funding source built from the ground up to help game developers chart their own destiny. As a true alternative to traditional publisher relationships, the key terms offered by Kowloon Nights reflect its developer-first approach, including:

  • No 100% recoupment period. Developers earn revenue from the first $1 generated.

  • Developers own their IP, and sequel rights, and leverage it how they see fit.

  • A flexible payment schedule, not a rigid milestone schedule.

  • Developer branding is front and center. All marketing activities focus on the studio and game – not Kowloon – so that they can build their brand and community.

  • Full creative control. Kowloon supports the studio’s creative vision.

  • Studios build their own long-lasting platform relationships. Release date, platforms, exclusivity, subscriptions, discounts, and more are all managed by the Developer.

  • All sources of revenue flow directly to the Developer, eliminating delays in payments.

  • A straightforward and simple agreement. In fact, it’s only 3 pages long.

“Creative risk-taking is vital to our studio’s culture. Kowloon Nights’ willingness to support and nurture that kind of environment make them an ideal partner for Night School.” — Sean Krankel, Night School Studio

“Kowloon has continuously proven to be the ideal partner. Great terms, great support, and, most of all, great passion in bringing our crazy game ideas to life.” — Will Dubé, Thunder Lotus

The most recent additions to the Kowloon roster include:

  • Alpha Channel – TANKHEAD

    Founded in 2019, Alpha Channel is an independent studio comprised of industry veterans based in Toronto, Canada. Focused on creating beautifully realized worlds, rich with history and imagination, Alpha Channel’s first project is TANKHEAD, a Metroidvania-style game focusing on exploration and thrilling vehicle gameplay.

  • Batterystaple – 30XX

    Seattle based Batterystaple started in 2013 with the mission to use open development and player voice in service of building crisp, replayable action games you can enjoy with a friend. Batterystaple’s current project, 30XX, is a millennium-in-the-making follow-up to its debut action platformer hit, 20XX.

  • Brimstone – Unannounced Title

    Brimstone is an independent studio from Skövde, Sweden with a focus on crafting stylized system-driven games. The studio is currently working on an unannounced fantasy kingdom builder game.

  • Dreamlit – Towers

    Dreamlit is a Los Angeles based studio with globally distributed talent. With the drive to deliver rich and imaginative experiences, Dreamlit is currently developing TOWERS, an open-world adventure revolving around rebuilding the ancient Shimu civilization and growing diverse ecosystems.

  • Fireplace – Unannounced Title

    Fireplace Games is a new studio from Montpellier, France, striving to respect workers and actors within the industry, as well as players’ time and intelligence. The team aspires to create character-driven experiences in inspiring settings, and is currently working on its first game— a swashbuckling adventure inspired by the Spanish golden age.

  • Fkkcloud – Project Kafka

    Fkkcloud is a Seattle-based indie development studio mashing up proven mechanics and genres to deliver a fresh and compelling experience. The studio’s debut game will be a pure expression of that idea, which takes inspiration from the Persona and Devil May Cry series to create something truly new.

  • Frozenbyte – Starbase

    Founded in Helsinki, Finland in 2001, Frozenbyte is best known for the colorful puzzle-platforming TRINE series. The team is currently working on STARBASE, a space-themed MMO with a focus on building and designing spaceships and stations, exploration, resource gathering, crafting, trading, and massive scale combat.

  • Gathering Tree – TFM: The First Men

    Gathering Tree is a game development studio based in Istanbul, Turkey with a legacy of making community-focused, moddable, expandable, replayable, strategically deep, and content-heavy games. Building on previous releases OVERFALL and BATTLE COMMANDERS, the studio’s next game, titled TFM: THE FIRST MEN, is coming to Steam Early Access this year.

  • Goblinz Studio – Legend of Keepers

    Based in France, Goblinz Studio is a remote team of developers who also co-produce and publish both RPGs and tactical management games. The studio’s next title, LEGEND OF KEEPERS, is the perfect mix between Dungeon Management and Roguelite elements.

  • Kaizen Game Works – Unannounced Title

    Kaizen Game Works is a UK studio formed to make games that surprise people and make the world a better place. After the positive reception and the success of PARADISE KILLER, the team is eager to embark on a new opportunity with Kowloon Nights.

  • Massive Damage – Unannounced Title

    Founded by mobile app pioneers Ken Seto and Garry Seto in 2010, Massive Damage is a proudly independent Toronto games studio that focuses on delivering compelling experiences that mash-up game genres in unexpected ways. After the successes of HALCYON 6 and STAR RENEGADES, the studio is excited to partner with Kowloon Nights on its next title.

  • Metric Empire – Unannounced Title

    Founded by veteran AAA directors Nicholas Routhier and Pier-Luc Papineau, Metric Empire is a Montreal-based indie game development studio with a mission to provide players with high-quality, empirically-designed games. The team is currently working on its unannounced first title.

  • Mimimi Games – Codename Süßkartoffel

    Based in Munich, Germany, Mimimi Games was founded by Dominik Abé and Johannes Roth in 2008.  In 2016, Mimimi reignited interest in the real-time tactics genre with SHADOW TACTICS: BLADES OF THE SHOGUN. Following that success, the team released DESPERADOS III, the long-awaited prequel to the beloved classic Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive, to critical acclaim. At present, the studio is working on their first self-published and third real-time tactics game: CODENAME SÜSSKARTOFFEL.

  • Night School Studio – Unannounced Title

    Known for their award-winning adventures OXENFREE and AFTERPARTY, Night School Studio is an independent game developer known for player-driven narratives that combine wonder, danger, humor, and visionary world-building. Night School is hard at work pushing the boundaries of interactive storytelling with its newest unannounced title.

  • Plethora Project – Common’hood

    Plethora Project is an indie studio based in Detroit, Michigan. The studio’s latest project, COMMON’HOOD, is an emotional community management game centered around producing a new habitat for a neighborhood that has been hit by an economic crash.

  • Rogue Snail – Unannounced Title

    Rogue Snail is a fully remote game studio with a diverse team based in Brazil. The studio has worked on acclaimed titles like CHROMA SQUAD, RELIC HUNTERS ZERO, RELIC HUNTERS LEGEND and STAR VIKINGS—and is currently working on its newest title, which is funded in collaboration with Kowloon Nights.

  • Roll7 – Unannounced Title

    Roll7 is a BAFTA-winning studio based in London, UK, with a stellar remote team working across the globe. The team, whose previous work includes skateboarding title OLLIOLLI and futuristic sports game LASER LEAGUE, is excited to announce their first collaboration – the studio is working alongside a remarkable new creative talent to create a genre hybrid that pushes flow state gameplay into a bombastic new space.

  • Rose City Games / Picogram – Garden Story

    Rose City Games and Picogram are based in Portland, Oregon. Inspired by the games they grew up playing, they’re dedicated to telling fantastical stories that immerse players through striking artwork and unforgettable soundtracks. GARDEN STORY exemplifies those values through its charming pixel art and community-focused story.

  • Sabotage Studio – Sea of Stars

    Founded five years ago in Quebec City, Sabotage Studio is fully dedicated to creating the definitive editions of the genres that the team members loved as kids. They are now working on SEA OF STARS, a turn-based RPG set in the same universe as their previous title, THE MESSENGER.

  • SIGONO – OPUS: Echo of Starsong

    Established in mid-2013, SIGONO is an independent game development studio based in Taiwan. After the successful releases of OPUS: THE DAY WE FOUND EARTH and OPUS: ROCKET OF WHISPERS, SIGONO looks forward to continuing their journey on the OPUS series with Kowloon Nights for the upcoming OPUS: ECHO OF STARSONG

  • Sloclap  – Unannounced Title

    Founded in 2015 in Paris, France by AAA development veterans, Sloclap is a team with a passion for tight gameplay, precise and reactive controls, challenging experiences, and awesome visuals. In 2017, the studio released the online multiplayer combat game, ABSOLVER, and their newest title features an exhilarating twist on martial arts action.

  • Studio Zevere – She Dreams Elsewhere

    Founded in 2016 in Cleveland, OH, Studio Zevere is a one-man game and film studio that aims to tell stylish, culturally relevant, and emotionally rich stories from new perspectives with a voice that’s all its own. The studio is currently hard at work on its debut title, SHE DREAMS ELSEWHERE, which is set to release in 2021.

  • Thunder Lotus – Unannounced Title

    Founded in 2014, Thunder Lotus is a collective of AAA, indie, and mobile expats based in Montreal, Canada whose passion for captivating, hand-drawn interactive experiences are evident in its game of the year nominated title, SPIRITFARER. The team looks forward to continuing its relationship with Kowloon Nights through future titles.

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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.