Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption parent company Take-Two made headlines in 2017 when it announced an all-new publishing label devoted to indie games. The company, Private Division, announced publishing deals with four different games, all of which come from big names in gaming. Now, one of those games won’t be coming from Private Division after all.
The four games included are Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey from Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Desilets; another title was Halo co-creator Marcus Lehto’s sci-fi FPS Disintegration. A third was The Outer Worlds, the role-playing game from Obsidian Entertainment, with original Fallout developers Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky at the helm. The fourth title announced for Private Division was Project Wight, an action-fantasy game from Battlefield 3 lead designer and Payday 2 director David Goldfarb and his new studio The Outsiders.
The game, which was re-revealed as Darkborn in April this year, is now moving ahead with a different publisher. Private Division confirmed to GameSpot that it ended its publishing arrangement with The Outsiders in 2018.
“Private Division ended our publishing agreement with The Outsiders at the end of last year,” reads a line from Private Division’s statement. “We supported the studio financially for several months after ending the deal, and we wish David Goldfarb and the rest of the talented team the very best with the game and their future endeavors.”
It is not immediately clear why Private Division and The Outsiders split up, or what financial considerations might have been in place related to the business separation. Private Division declined to share further insight on the matter, while The Outsiders CEO Anders Pettersson tells GameSpot that the Swedish studio plans to share more details “after the summer.” Also unknown is if The Outsiders will or already is seeking a new publishing arrangement, or if the studio will self-publish Darkborn.
The Outsiders’ website is currently down, but Petterson said that’s only coincidental, as the team is working on a “rebranding.” The Outsiders has also changed its Twitter handle to “Monstery Games,” but whether or not the studio is planning a name change is unknown. What has definitely changed at the studio is its top leadership, as Pettersson took over that role from Ben Cousins. Cousins, a former DICE developer, said in a blog post that he remains a “major” shareholder in the company, though he has exited to become the CEO of Isbit Games in Sweden.
Private Division’s website has been scrubbed of references to The Outsiders and Project Wight/Darkborn. However, the label’s announcement video is still there, featuring Goldfarb and Cousins talking about their new studio and its ambitions.
In Darkborn, you play as a menacing beast, but the usual power fantasy is reversed. The monster you play, a Darkborn, is hunted by a horrible faction called The Pale Enemy that torture Darkborn and perform blood rituals with their corpses, according to a Game Informer preview. “Be the monster in Darkborn. Experience life on the other side of the sword,” reads the game’s official description. You can watch 16 minutes of gameplay in the video above. No release date or platforms have been announced for Darkborn.
Private Division’s three other publishing arrangements appear to continue to be in place. In fact, V1 Interactive, the developer of Disintegration, just announced it will show more of the game at Gamescom in August with the support of Private Division.
One thing that has changed is that, following the formation of Private Division, The Outer Worlds developer Obsidian was purchased by Microsoft. Private Division remains the publisher of the game, and it is still scheduled to release on PS4 despite the fact that its studio owner is Microsoft.
Private Division is also the publisher of Kerbal Space Program from Mexico City-based developer Squad. In fact, Take-Two owns the studio and the game. Private Division is based in New York City and has offices in Seattle and Munich. It is Take-Two’s third label, joining Rockstar Games and 2K Games.
Private Division Games Lineup
- Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey (Panahce Digital Games)
- The Outer Worlds (Obsidian Entertainment)
- Disintegration (V1 Interactive)
- Kerbal Space Program (Squad)