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2K Games Picks Up Indie Games P.B. Winterbottom, Axel & Pixel For XBLA

Over a year after becoming an Independent Games Festival student finalist, University of Southern California grads have signed with 2K Games to publish the puzzler P.B. Winterbottom on Xbox Live Arcade. [UPDATE: 2K also publishing Axel &
Over a year after becoming an Independent Games Festival student finalist, University of Southern California grads have signed with 2K Games to publish the puzzler P.B. Winterbottom on Xbox Live Arcade. Matt Korba and Paul Bellezza's low-profile game development operation, The Odd Gentlemen, have been shopping The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom around to various publishers, many of which wanted to twist the game into their own vision. But 2K Games was accepting of the game's original premise and style, the Associated Press reported Wednesday. The black-and-white game is set in an "early silent film world that plays with temporal space." It's not quite as marketable as "space marines vs. aliens," but 2K is reportedly okay with that. "It's been awesome to take the idea out of my head, and move beyond what we had when we were students," Korba said. The report said that other publishers wanted to alter the game's control scheme, plop in a space marine, even visit Jurassic Park. The Odd Gentlemen entered P.B. Winterbottom in the 2008 Independent Games Festival (run by Gamasutra parent Think Services), where it was a Student Showcase winner. But the game is to evolve well beyond that original vision, as the small L.A. development house is working to create 80 levels for the game's release on Xbox Live Arcade in early 2010. [UPDATE: 2K Games confirmed that it is also publishing Axel & Pixel, an indie point-and-click adventure game from Czech developer Silver Wish Games. The game "tells the story of Axel the artist and his dog Pixel as they embark on a fantastic journey through the surreal and dangerous Dream World," according to a 2K press statement. Alex & Pixel is slated to arrive on Xbox Live Arcade in fall 2009. 2K added that both P.B. Winterbottom and Alex & Pixel will be released under the company's 2K Play label. 2K president Christoph Hartmann called the two games unique "passion projects," adding that 2K will not be "altering [the developers'] distinct visions."]

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