UK veteran Team17 is publishing Playtonic's Yooka-Laylee, it has been announced.
The 3D platformer raised more than £2M via Kickstarter earlier this year, and is coming to the Wii U. Team17 will assist with localisation, certification, QA, marketing and other business concerns.
Here's what Playtonic boss Gavin Price had to say about the deal:
Team17 has significant experience in making the most of releasing a game. Personally I feel it would be a great shame if after our great Kickstarter success, we delivered on our promise of a great game and then it underperformed sales-wise because we didn't have the knowledge, or made a mistake in the way we released or marketed the game. Thanks to our Kickstarter backers, we're on a really positive trajectory and Team17 is acting like a booster for us on top of that by handling non-game dev tasks.
Team17 Managing Director Debbie Bestwick thinks that the agreement could be a massive coup for the company, which found fame as a developer during the days of the Commodore Amiga but has recently moved into publishing:
[This partnership] is probably more significant than either Team17 or Playtonic fully realise right now. They are friends of ours and we want to help it make sense for everyone. To the industry it's probably another reason for people to look at what we are doing even closer. We've built an exciting, modern games label here that helps creators achieve their goals with a team who understands what it takes to release a game, all the while keeping full control of their studio and IP. We're building a strong track record for helping indie devs and Playtonic is going to move that reputation to another level. Our goals and targets remain exactly the same as they always were: to help creators bring their games to market.
Given the success of the Kickstarter, you could question why Playtonic needs Team17, but editorial and communications manager Andy Robinson explains that bringing on an external partner was one of the aims from the start:
Playtonic was founded because our team wanted to make games the way it used to in the '90s – in a small, collaborative team in an environment that encourages creative autonomy. We believe these philosophies appeal not only to us, but fans of the team's past work, and so we're determined to ensure they're preserved.
We maintained from the start that we'd be open to a partner that could uphold these principles, while helping improve specific backend areas of development, thus freeing up our team to focus on core game development.
Our Kickstarter backers pledged their money so that my embarrassingly talented colleagues could finally get their hands dirty again and get back to making great games. Nobody wants the artist who made Banjo and Kazooie searching for bugs all day, or the composer behind Donkey Kong Country sat on the phone to PlayStation certification – they want them creating.
Team17's expertise has impressed us and Yooka-Laylee will significantly benefit in a myriad of ways, not least in expanded localisation, improved QA testing, certification and access to vastly better resources – all the business necessities that indie studios traditionally struggle with.
This isn't a traditional publisher deal, Team 17 understand what we want to achieve and have created a unique partnership with us. It's a deal all about giving us the support we need so Yooka-Laylee delivers on all its Kickstarter promises.
Price adds to this, assuring fans that the game is still totally funded by the crowd-funding campaign:
Our game is 100 per cent funded by the money raised on Kickstarter. The cost of making a game is a lot cheaper when you're in Burton-on-Trent and not San Francisco. The Kickstarter money also covers our fulfilment costs such as physical goods and console codes for our backers as well as developing some bonus DLC as something to give back to our backers.
Interestingly, Bestwick reveals that a physical version of the game could also happen - something which Price stated he wanted when we interviewed him earlier this year:
There is a large demand for a physical game. Playtonic took the decision not to include this in the Kickstarter for the very reason that it could impact on development and at the time of their Kickstarter it would have been a big risk. Team17 has lots of experience in physical and will share ideas and opportunities with Playtonic - so absolutely we will be looking into it.
Yooka-Laylee is expected to launch in October 2016. Despite rumours relating to a possible 2016 launch of the Nintendo NX, Price explains that for the time being, the team is committed to making the title for the Wii U:
Nintendo is not saying that much, it's all still very secretive – I wish I knew more. But there's nothing said that impacts any of our current plans. There's still plenty to look forward to with the Wii U, right now I don't foresee anything impacting us delivering that version.
Great to hear they've got people in to concentrate on the publishing side so Playtonic can focus on development. I'll be honest I don't know much about Team 17 as a publisher. Obviously I know them as a great developer, but their wiki entry doesn't mention them moving into publishing.
A disc would be great as there are some, like me that prefer a disc.
And Broadband can be a pain
I remember the only psychical games were the N64 cartridges they included in the kick starter
If companies can crap out Farm Sim and Deer Hunter physical copies, I don't see how hard it would be to license out a 500,000 copy run of a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign.
@KirbyKirbyKirby The N64 cartridges are no physical games, but usb sticks.
If they do step forward with the promise of a physical release I would hope that there's a way to increase pledges slightly to make up the cost of a physical disc.
That said, Playtonic have sent an update to backers indicating that there are still no current plans for a physical release
Team17.... is a weird choice to get publishing this game if you ask me...
In the email I got this morning they clarified despite this partnership, they still have no plans for a physical version. Who knows in the end
@ikki5 I thought so at first as well, but taking into consideration that Team 17 and Platonic are both British companies, it makes more sense.
In terms of a physical release, with Team 17 as the publisher, I'd say chances are fairly likely. The Escapists was also a Kickstarter backed indie game that Team 17 helped to publish, and I see the physical copy in plain view every-time I go to my Game store.
Wow, awesome news, I loved T17's games back in the Amiga/DOS days...Alien Breed, Project X, Superfrog , Body Blows....
So glad they are publishing it!
I would really like a physical copy so I hope this happens.
I'm ready to upgrade my pledge into a physical copy, Playtonic. Just say the word.
AHH hands up those that remember the Intro to Full Contact for the Amiga. Quality i tell ya.
With the amount I spent on the Kickstarter, I wish I could have went with a physical copy of everything but it was just too much. At least I got the shirt. Now since I don't have a PC, I'm not sure what to do about that digital artbook...I really wanted that physical more than anything since I can look at pictures online anyway.
Team 17 is awesome! Love Worms!
what's a usb stick?
The Wii U physical edition is the only one I´m buying, if that doent happen, then I´m not buying... I don´t believe in digital copies, licences, rentals.. etc..
A new Worms with level editor for WiiU would be dreamy.
@Peach64 they published games by other developers even back in the Amiga days, though I think they've had a spell just as a developer till recently...
Good news. So many indies struggle on the business side of things so it is great that they have that pressure taken off of them. A physical release would be lovely methinks.
Disc please. My Wii U is almost full and I doubt I'll ever bother to invest in an external hard drive.
@ikki5 Why should that be a weird choice?
@XyVoX Hands are up. I remember all the Amiga classics, and especially Team17's. Oh, the memories...
@KirbyKirbyKirby I'm going to assume you're joking, even though the required smiley or /sarcasm is missing...
@antonvaltaz It's the other way around: they were a developer before they were ever a publisher. Nearly all of the Amiga games were from themselves, not from other developers.
@antipop621 Why not? Depending on how long you are still going to use your Wii U, it's definitely worth the purchase, and for the prices they come at nowadays, it shouldn't be that much of a bother, even for the tightest of purses...
It would seem to me you can't say 'were doing a physical copy', when people have promised money (that they can still take back) for digital copies. Further down the line when they release this in 2015-2017, it makes sense to expand the customer base that has either no interest or no ability to buy the digital release. The box being on a shelf in a store is advertising in itself that you don't get lost in the lists of steam and the PS Store.
Will they deliver the game with Holy Hand-Grenades?
NX isn't coming out next year anyways. lol
@TheRealThanos they were a developer first - although apart from Miami Chase for Codemasters, they also self-published all their own games.
But they also published lots of other developers' games for the Amiga - e.g. Assassin, Qwak, Super Stardust, Apidya (re-release), Cardiaxx, F17 Challenge, just off the top of my head...
Even the original Worms was already a working prototype before they got involved...
I wonder if they have wii u development kids and what they think of them. they were always able to master Nintendo hardware as a second party to nintendo
@Megumi it might
I know it will never happen, but a 128megabyte N64 cart of this game (biggest ever made) would be awesome sauce!
@antonvaltaz I already knew that they self-published a lot. I've been a long time Team17 fan and I have nearly all their games, and still own several Amiga computers. (A500, A500+, A1200 and CD32)
You are right about some games being developed by others, but the Alien Breed series, Body Blows series, Full Contact, Project-X, F17 Challenge, Arcade Pool, ATR: All-Terrain Racing and Superfrog were all developed (and published) by Team17 themselves.
Just looked it up to make sure I didn't shoot myself in the foot there...
@TheRealThanos Ah, someone after my own heart - a big Amiga and Team 17 fan here too!
My memory of F17 Challenge and Arcade Pool was that they were both developed by external developers - both Italian groups IIRC - but I may be mistaken... but I agree most of their best games were internal.
@antonvaltaz Either way: I assume you'll agree they were great and they are fond memories.
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