These days, it’s a weird balance between publisher and developer in the gaming world, especially as you get closer to the AAA caliber. With that in mind, several developers have come together to form a developer-owned publisher group called Kepler Interactive, and it has gathered $120 million USD in funding for future efforts. Having a major publisher can be pinnacle to a game getting its name out into the open. We likely wouldn’t know as much about Lost in Random or Brawlhalla if it wasn’t for EA and Ubisoft publishing them. On the other hand comes the matter of creative freedom and making the thing you want to make without publisher interference. Kepler aims to circumvent this by giving each developer involved in the group say in overall matters
Kepler Interactive announced its formation and opening as a publisher group on its new website and Twitter on September 27, 2021. Self-described as a ‘super developer’ group, Kepler Interactive comes from the executive founders of the global independent video game fund Kowloon Knights and features seven founding development studios as its members: A44, Alpha Channel, Awaceb, Ebb Software, Shapefarm, Sloclap, and Timberline.
Announcing Kepler Interactive, the first global game publisher co-owned and run by developers!— Kepler Interactive (@Kepler_Interact) September 28, 2021
Our mission? Cultivate an environment where studios thrive and maintain creative independence, while combining resources and expertise for impact. https://t.co/T3zNCcGBRU pic.twitter.com/Ptib5yL5pQ
"When we founded Kowloon Nights, our goal was to support the next generation of independent developers," said Alexis Garavaryan, CEO of Kepler Interactive. "The evolution of that work is now Kepler, which takes the developer‑first approach a major leap forward in terms of scale and empowerment."
To that end, the goal of this collective is to create games together under this publishing umbrella in which each of the groups are capable of aiding each other and each has an equal say in the collective’s decisions as a whole.
“As a part of Kepler, studio founders become co-owners with a say in the decision-making process of the collective and are able to utilize the benefits that a model like this can provide,” the group Twitter states.
While there are plenty of collectives out there that feature a great deal of major players under one umbrella, such as Embracer Group (THQ Nordic, Saber Interactive, Coffee Stain Publishing, etc.) and Focus Entertainment (Flying Wild Hog, Asobo Studio, New World Interactive, etc.), the parent group still has hefty say in the matters of each developer involved. Kepler seems to be built against this style of overarching control.
It will remain to be seen what Kepler Interactive can accomplish under this interesting developer-first model. That said, with $120 million in combined funding, it’s likely we could see some interesting projects out of the group in the future. Stay tuned here at Shacknews as we continue to watch for news and updates from Kepler.
TJ Denzer posted a new article, Kepler Interactive 'super developer' publisher group formed with $120m in funding
A true Gathering Of Developers