Yesterday's surprise release of Escape Goat 2 had a surprise publisher attached to it as well: Double Fine Productions, Tim Schafer's adventure gaming studio. So, why is Double Fine publishing indie games? Chief operating officer Justin Bailey explained that "our goal is to help indies build their own community and empower them with the knowledge and tools they need to succeed on their own."
According to Bailey, "lots of indies" have approached the company. "They all had a unique request and that's where we started to see there was a real need for the knowledge we've gained over the last 14 years on how to prototype, fund, develop, and publish our own games," he told Game Informer.
What differentiates Double Fine from other publishing options, Bailey argues, is that they are more "flexible... without also creating a certain co-dependence."
As a publisher, Double Fine will offer a variety of services to get games to market. For example, some will want funding, others development feedback, help porting to other platforms. Others will want help launching a Kickstarter--something Double Fine has found a tremendous amount of success in.
It's not a shift in focus for the developer, who doesn't plan on becoming a big-scale publisher any time soon. "The current focus is just on making the titles we publish successful and something that both the developer and Double Fine can be proud of,” Bailey said.