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Like other indie studios before it, Nine Dots is turning to publishing to help smaller studios get their games out the door.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

March 5, 2024

2 Min Read
Promo art for 9 Dots' Outward.
Image via Nine Dots/Deep Silver.

At a Glance

  • Nine Dots' publishing criteria is deeply focused on doing right by developers, and making sure they treat staff well.

Nine Dots Studios revealed it's branching out to game publishing for third-party studios.

Talking with GamesBeat, CEO Guillaume Boucher-Vidal explained the the studio will invest $1-$2.5 million to console and PC projects. At the same time, it'll start to self-publish its own works.

Various indie studios have spun up their own publishing arms to help their fellow indies. Some of these had a rough 2023: Versus Evil closed down, and Brace Yourself laid off half its workforce.

Boucher-Vidal called the shift a "natural next step" for Nine Dots. The studio founded to make games" without compromising on productivity or quality," and he wants other studios to avoid the same publisher friction he had.

"I believe in creating value, rather than extracting it," he continued. "This mindset will guide our decisions in business just like it did in game development."

Nine Dots' publishing philosophy

Every indie publisher picks partners based on key rules, and the same is true for Nine Dots Publishing.

One of its big focuses will be on "sustainable development," with royalties skewed more toward the developers. However, it didn't disclose a particular revenue split between it and potential partners.

Published games will fall within the studio's specific demographic of "demanding players." Nine Dots is also focused on studios that make games without crunch and have "ethical" work practices.

Specifically, developers will be eligible if they don't have their staff work over 52 hours per week. Nine Dots' reported weekly average is 37.5 hours, and it wants to ensure employees "have more leeway" over their partnership, said Boucher-Vidal.

"This is the opportunity to take the next step with that vision I had of sanitizing the industry," he explained. "first as a developer and now as a publisher.

"We’re not just publishing games," said Nine Dots COO Natasha Collin. "We’re helping amazing experiences to be shared with a greater audience."

"We’ll leverage our experience, network, and unwavering dedication to ethical practices to ensure their dreams reach the players they deserve, treating their production like ours in regards to care and investment.”

GamesBeat's full interview with Collin and Boucher-Vidal on Nine Dots Publishing can be read here.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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