Today, online retailer Gamesplanet announced that they were also getting into the games publishing under new Publishing Manager Alexander Poysky (Pixel Pirates, Pixel Privateers, Regions of Ruin) with the label Metaboli Publishing. Also unveiled was the first three games that they will be publishing: Alchemy Garden, Travellers Rest, and Elliot.
Speaking with TechRaptor Poysky stated that he thinks for retailers that care about gaming, and quality, getting into publishing is a natural evolution of business. They are far from the first retailer to think so, though not all have been successful. CD Projekt RED is a case of a retailer going into development with great success, and Humble Bundle has seen success with their publishing line, but one only needs to think back a couple years to Gamestop's GameTrust which fizzled out after the failure of Deformers and Gamestop's financial woes.
Metaboli Publishing brings with it some differing offers there, beyond the obligatory help with marketing and competitive rates there are several other key services provided. Unlike some indie publishers, Metaboli does offer funding to help developers get their games made with normal industry terms for repayment (namely a higher percentage of income until the financing has been recouped). They also provide access to Poysky who has worked on several indie titles with teams, with variable levels of financial success and he will be serving as a producer for all Gamesplanet published games. They are putting a priority on quality titles and working with developers closely. In the future, they would like to also publish games on console and help developers get games there, but to start with they are focusing on PC.
Metaboli Publishing Games
Alchemy Garden is perhaps the best known of the three games that were announced today as part of the lineup. Taking its cues from Stardew Valley and Shoppe Keepe, Alchemy Garden has you creating magical gardens, exploring the world, and then making and selling potions. If anyone is really interested in it, you can pick up the early access alpha on Itch.io or just keep an eye on their Steam page.
Traveller's Rest is a game in a similar vein but with a very different theme. Instead of being an alchemist, you are running an inn - and on first look it definitely takes its cues from Stardew Valley and games like Graveyard Keeper. Perhaps its just me, but I also see some Little Dragon Cafe in there with the theme and the menu management, that are there along with exploring, gathering local ingrediants, farming, trading and more as you build your own dream fantasy tavern. You can take a look at its Steam page for a bit more info.
Last but definitely not least is Elliot which was previously unannounced. A level-based puzzle platformer with a gorgeous art style, Elliot has an uphill battle in a world filled with platformers. Elliot bucks the current trend towards metroidvanias and focuses in more on pure platforming, and takes inspiration from games like Super Meat Boy, Celeste and Ori and the Blind Forest. That's not to say it's aping any of them but the inspirations are there, perhaps clearest in the dash mechanic which plays somewhat like Ori's bullet jumping ability, only without the need for a projectile - more flexible then Celeste's dash.
UPDATE: Since the Publication of this article, Elliot is no longer signed with Metaboli Publishing. They have since added a new title in The Bloodline, a fantasy action RPG developed by Shieldbearer Studios.
What do you think of Gamesplanet entering publishing? Do you think retail companies should invest in developers and games? Do any of the games mentioned here interest you?