Montreal independent studio Behaviour (formerly A2M) has revealed that the Wet project – an original IP once ditched by Activision - became a “huge” financial risk for the firm that turned no profit.
In a new interview with Develop, Behaviour CEO Remi Racine said the studio had no choice but to use its own money to fund the production of Wet after Activision rejected a publishing deal with the developer.
“[It was a] huge risk. Huge,” Racine said.
“We believed in it though, and we thought it would give us [a brand] that we didn’t have in the company, so we believed in the project and the team and went for it.”
The Wet project ultimately found a publisher in Bethesda – a group the Behaviour boss describes as “creative types with good business heads.”
Without a publisher on board, of course, the project may have become a financial black hole for Behaviour. Now a sequel for the game is in place.
“Going back, financially Wet didn’t make a profit but we didn’t lose a lot. We just about broke even, so it wasn’t bad,” Racine said.
“That was our risk but now of course we have a second one going, there’s more brand awareness now, it helped with our technology, it helped us gain a lot of potential with publishers. So in the end I think it turned out to be good business.”
Even when Activision dropped Wet as the publisher merged with Blizzard, Behaviour chose to fund Wet from its own money – with no investment rounds or debt incurred.
It is this kind of bold risk – and the lack of damage it made to the developer – that will likely give the studio more nerve as it pushes further into the world of digital self-publishing.