Starbreeze Studios is dipping its toes into the indie publishing scene after their success with what I would think constitutes “AA” publishing on Payday 2. The first game they will be publishing under this label is Antisphere, a competitive spaceship top-down shooter. Starbreeze describes it as: “a top-down competitive arena battle game in which players use their skills in order to catch each other out, and win the match. It’s a high-octane action packed experience with a large variety of ships, weapons and arenas.” It’s being developed by two Croation studios, Soap Interactive and Lion Game Lion. You can see some brief gameplay on the official site. It looks like a pretty standard multiplayer top-down shooter, but there isn’t a whole lot on display yet.
This isn’t Starbreeze and Lion Game Lion’s first outing, though. Starbreeze is publishing their co-op WW2 FPS RAID, and Lion has worked on some DLC for Payday 2 in the past too. Many large studios have been opening up indie labels this year, and it’s certainly possible that Starbreeze is using Antisphere as a means of introducing Lion Game Lion to the public before RAID releases. As of right now, Starbreeze have 30 thousand dollars invested in Antisphere as opposed to the much heftier 8 million they’ve invested in RAID, so it seems to make sense. In relation to the purpose of the label, Starbreeze stated: “Under the new Publishing sub-label Starbreeze aims to sign projects smaller in scope and investment to give developers an easy and quick way to reach the market with Publishing support. Starbreeze IndieLabs will continue to work according to Starbreeze Publishing’s principles, where Starbreeze aims to be a best in class partner enabling developers to retain a large portion of IP-rights and fair revenue shares, while the Labs label will signify the start-up spirit of the projects.”
What do you think of the rising number of companies getting into publishing for smaller games? What sort of projects do you expect to see from Indielabs?