Yooka-Laylee Dev Partners With Publisher Team17

Yooka-Laylee Dev Partners With Publisher Team17

yooka laylee image 05

Banjo-Kazooie spiritual successor Yooka-Laylee now has a publisher... despite raising funds from Kickstarter.

Earlier this year, some of the old Banjo-Kazooie team banded together to form a new studio: Playtonic Games, and announce a new project: Yooka-Laylee. Billed as a "spiritual successor" to Banjo-Kazooie, the Yooka-Laylee Kickstarter was fully funded in under an hour. Now, Playtonic has announced a partnership with publisher Team17 (of Worms fame) - a little strange considering one of the main reasons people take to Kickstarter is to free themselves of greedy publishers.

"From the very start we said that we'd welcome only a partner that could genuinely improve the creation of our game, while respecting the independence and creative autonomy of our development team," explained Playtonic creative lead Gavin Price. He further justified the partnership by assuring fans that "our team can now focus 100 per cent on making Yooka-Laylee, without fussing over boring-but-necessary business stuff like certification, localisation and store management, while at the same time benefiting from the additional resources and vast experience of a seasoned games label."

Team17 chimed in by adding that "The partnership will allow Playtonic to build on its hugely successful Kickstarter campaign - the biggest ever for a UK game studio - with additional resources designed to benefit development and add value to both existing Kickstarter backers and new fans."

So it sounds all rosy and good in the world of Yooka-Laylee, but how do you, as a backer, feel about this decision?

Yooka-Laylee has an estimated launch of October 2016 on PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, PC, Mac and Linux.

Source: Kickstarter

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Ummmm.... isn't Team 17 a development team, not a publisher? Meaning, they aren't giving Playtonic money, Playtonic is paying them to create assets for the game.

Maybe I'm reading it wrong, it does say that they have experience when it comes to publishing, but I'm getting the vibe that they are just there to help out to make the experience smoother.

Is there a typo? "Yooka-Laylee Kickstarter was Worms fame" seems like not a sentence...

Anyway I'm not sure how I feel about this... I don't know alot about Team17 as a publisher, but publishers don't have the greatest reputation, and rightfully so, and as you mentioned wasn't the whole point of kickstarter to avoid involvement with a publisher?

I'm not sure... Playtonic is making it sound all fun and awesome, but at this point (Not a backer disclosure) I think that backers are absolutely in their right to raise a few concerns at this decision assuming that any backers are raising concerns

thewatergamer:
Is there a typo? "Yooka-Laylee Kickstarter was Worms fame" seems like not a sentence...

Anyway I'm not sure how I feel about this... I don't know alot about Team17 as a publisher, but publishers don't have the greatest reputation, and rightfully so, and as you mentioned wasn't the whole point of kickstarter to avoid involvement with a publisher?

I'm not sure... Playtonic is making it sound all fun and awesome, but at this point (Not a backer disclosure) I think that backers are absolutely in their right to raise a few concerns at this decision assuming that any backers are raising concerns

I actually am a backer myself, and while I am wary about this partnership, I'm also very much aware of the reality of needing help when it comes to stuff that the game needs as mentioned in the article. If they didn't have people who are used to doing this doing it for them, the people making the game would have to take time out of making the game to do it.

There's just sadly a lot of paperwork involved when it comes to making games. :(

Well first Inafune, and now Playtonic, and people wonder why I am so critical of KS.

And before you people get "offended" for me being critical of KS, no, not every KS project is like this, but grabbing a publisher after raising money, doesn't bode well for my trust for the people who resort to crowd funding.

Take a look at their games:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Team17

Not much going on there, so ironically enough, I have more faith in them than if they were a Triple A publisher. I honestly don't have too much of a problem with Kickstarters using publishers, but its definitely nuanced. Depending on what is done and how the deal plays out, it could be good or bad.

I take it Team17 are these guys: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Team17

Sounds like they have experience with digital publishing, but are mainly developers. We'll have to see where it goes, but a publisher that is more developer than publisher may mean that they're less likely to get in the way of development of the game.

Edit: Ack, ninja'd by mentalbutsafe

Not all publishers are the same. The way I see it, if the creators were able to use Kickstarter and backers to get the game that they and the backers always wanted, and nobody along the way interferes with the creator's artistic freedom, then everybody is still getting what they were hoping for from day 1. If this successful kickstarter attracted the attention of Team 17, allowing them to step in and deal with console manufacturers/Steam and do lawyer-y boring paperwork stuff so that the dev team doesn't have to, the backers may end up with a better game in a quicker amount of time then they expected.

I see the part that stings, the backers are the ones with blind faith putting their money on the line, expecting no return on the "investment" other than the successful release of the game. It sucks that their faith and their money is used as a barometer for companies to step in and actually make money off of the deal, but that's why backers are backers and not investors. The way I see it, if the game gets made and its the game that the devs wanted to make 100%, then the backers are getting "what they paid for".

WolvDragon:
Well first Inafune, and now Playtonic, and people wonder why I am so critical of KS.

And before you people get "offended" for me being critical of KS, no, not every KS project is like this, but grabbing a publisher after raising money, doesn't bode well for my trust for the people who resort to crowd funding.

A lot of board games on Kickstarter do this too. Quite often you need an established publisher to handle the legal and distribution side. Nothing wrong with asking for help from people with experience.

I'm all up for it. I like Team17, they certainly fit the profile for the type of game that it is, and as long as it is sold as advertised in the original campain then why not?

dragongit:
Ummmm.... isn't Team 17 a development team, not a publisher? Meaning, they aren't giving Playtonic money, Playtonic is paying them to create assets for the game.

Maybe I'm reading it wrong, it does say that they have experience when it comes to publishing, but I'm getting the vibe that they are just there to help out to make the experience smoother.

Team 17 has begun publishing other indie developers' games a while ago. For instance, they are the publisher of The Escapists, Flockers, LA Cops, and Schrödinger's Cat And The Raiders Of The Lost Quark.

I get the feeling some people are going to be going "PUBLISHER BAD!" thanks to AAA ones like EA and Activision dragging their reputation through the mud, but these Team17 guys seem a lot closer to the ground. They actually develop their own games, so unlike EA they actually know the first thing about what their customers want.

Well if for some reason the publisher screws them over, I'll be waiting for the spiritual successor kickstarter to Yuka Laylee, Zyla Fone.

thewatergamer:
Is there a typo? "Yooka-Laylee Kickstarter was Worms fame" seems like not a sentence...

Anyway I'm not sure how I feel about this... I don't know alot about Team17 as a publisher, but publishers don't have the greatest reputation, and rightfully so, and as you mentioned wasn't the whole point of kickstarter to avoid involvement with a publisher?

I'm not sure... Playtonic is making it sound all fun and awesome, but at this point (Not a backer disclosure) I think that backers are absolutely in their right to raise a few concerns at this decision assuming that any backers are raising concerns

It was a broken link. Sometimes when the a=href links don't work they eat up random paragraphs. Thanks for the tip!

WolvDragon:
Well first Inafune, and now Playtonic, and people wonder why I am so critical of KS.

And before you people get "offended" for me being critical of KS, no, not every KS project is like this, but grabbing a publisher after raising money, doesn't bode well for my trust for the people who resort to crowd funding.

To Inafunes defense, he mentioned right off the bat that the kickstarter was to shop for a publisher - I think Playtonic actually mentioned something along those lines as well

There are two ways a publisher can work with independent developers.

1. They basically fund the developer to either make the developers own game or make games the publisher wants.

2. They are hired by a developer to handle pressing discs, distribution of the game to stores (physical/digital) and advertising.

This sounds like the second type which is far cheaper than trying to do it all yourself.

Team 17 are known for worms I believe, they do a lot of small projects now, that I see there name once in a while on digital games. I personally believe team 17 is still old school/guard, which is why they are supporting this project. Look into team 17, they are no way an EA or Activision.
I also agree that this puts more money into the actual development, so yes, while kickstarter can be abused and publishers can be fat-cats...this isn't one of those. Of course they will be worried we will think the worst, but I honestly believe this is a labour of love from older devs that are glad to be unrestricted by modern market predictions and assumptions.
Still, we shall have to wait and see. *fingers crossed!

gizmo2300:

WolvDragon:
Well first Inafune, and now Playtonic, and people wonder why I am so critical of KS.

And before you people get "offended" for me being critical of KS, no, not every KS project is like this, but grabbing a publisher after raising money, doesn't bode well for my trust for the people who resort to crowd funding.

To Inafunes defense, he mentioned right off the bat that the kickstarter was to shop for a publisher - I think Playtonic actually mentioned something along those lines as well

Fair enough I guess.

Elementary - Dear Watson:

WolvDragon:
Well first Inafune, and now Playtonic, and people wonder why I am so critical of KS.

And before you people get "offended" for me being critical of KS, no, not every KS project is like this, but grabbing a publisher after raising money, doesn't bode well for my trust for the people who resort to crowd funding.

A lot of board games on Kickstarter do this too. Quite often you need an established publisher to handle the legal and distribution side. Nothing wrong with asking for help from people with experience.

I'm all up for it. I like Team17, they certainly fit the profile for the type of game that it is, and as long as it is sold as advertised in the original campain then why not?

Because some people say one of the good things about KS is to avoid the greedy publishers who will try to stifle creativity, etc I personally have no qualms if they had a publisher to back them, but then it would be killing the purpose of KS right?

WolvDragon:

Elementary - Dear Watson:

WolvDragon:
Well first Inafune, and now Playtonic, and people wonder why I am so critical of KS.

And before you people get "offended" for me being critical of KS, no, not every KS project is like this, but grabbing a publisher after raising money, doesn't bode well for my trust for the people who resort to crowd funding.

A lot of board games on Kickstarter do this too. Quite often you need an established publisher to handle the legal and distribution side. Nothing wrong with asking for help from people with experience.

I'm all up for it. I like Team17, they certainly fit the profile for the type of game that it is, and as long as it is sold as advertised in the original campain then why not?

Because some people say one of the good things about KS is to avoid the greedy publishers who will try to stifle creativity, etc I personally have no qualms if they had a publisher to back them, but then it would be killing the purpose of KS right?

Well, not really.

*The* purpose of Kickstarter is to fund projects via crowdfunding that otherwise would not be. This includes aquiring funding to produce a functional prototype and show a vested interest by consumers in order to get adequate funding from a publisher or private investor to get the project to completion.

Without that initial funding to make a working build and show there's interest, there's little to no chance that a publisher or investor would risk going in on such projects.

While it feels warmer and fuzzier for crowdfunding to get a project from nothing to completion exclusively, that's not the only purpose it provides.

WolvDragon:

Because some people say one of the good things about KS is to avoid the greedy publishers who will try to stifle creativity, etc I personally have no qualms if they had a publisher to back them, but then it would be killing the purpose of KS right?

The thing is the problem with publishers stifling creativity and being overly greedy is a power balance problem. A studio has normally has no way to make a game beside basically giving a publisher whatever they want, the only line really being what other publishers are willing to offer. Because of this the publisher often gets to own the ip of what is worked on, and make many changes to the product to make it more "marketable". However when you get to go "I have the money to make this game already and proof that it has a market" the dev is in a much better barging position. This forces publisher back to their proper role of publishing, and marketing the game.

They specifically mentioned that they still have 100% control over all IP they create.

which is usually the bargain made by indie devs with publishers: "give us your IP and we will fund your game"

Corey Schaff:
Well if for some reason the publisher screws them over, I'll be waiting for the spiritual successor kickstarter to Yuka Laylee, Zyla Fone.

I prefer Clarra Nettee's Kick Starter.

My first thought on this was: Team17 publish stuff too now?

But yeah, I can see that this is partnership is more focused on taking the publishing hassle off Playtonic and on to someone else, allowing the devs to focus more on the game. I'm no backer, but I'm sure if you read the statement then you have no reason to feel swindled, its not like they said "Hey we kinda blew all that money you guys gave us on pretty cars and fast whores, so we sold out to soul sucking suit of a company, i.e: a publisher. Look forward to Yooka-Laylee, but be sure to preorder to play as Yooka!"

Didn't back it it, but I did back Pillars of Eternity by Obsidian. They also ended up partnering with a publisher for their game and it worked out pretty well as far as I can tell.

Well that's a bummer. Do you know that the game the escapists even exists? Did you know they still makes worms games? They don't advertise their games at all.

I really don't like this attitude publishers have where they look over Kickstarter to see what's popular and pick to join in after a game has been funded. But what's even worse is the willingness of the funded developer to jump into bed with these publishers, betraying the trust of some of their backers. But, if we see some solid results of this partnership, like the game getting its release date pushed up then maybe it won't be so bad.

WolvDragon:
Well first Inafune, and now Playtonic, and people wonder why I am so critical of KS.

And before you people get "offended" for me being critical of KS, no, not every KS project is like this, but grabbing a publisher after raising money, doesn't bode well for my trust for the people who resort to crowd funding.

As a backer of both those games you mention, I'm really just happy to see the developers getting outside help with the drudge work because that leaves the creative people with more time to be creative. And who benefits the most from this in the long run? The backers, whose contributions are rewarded with a bigger and better game than what would otherwise be possible!

busterkeatonrules:

WolvDragon:
Well first Inafune, and now Playtonic, and people wonder why I am so critical of KS.

And before you people get "offended" for me being critical of KS, no, not every KS project is like this, but grabbing a publisher after raising money, doesn't bode well for my trust for the people who resort to crowd funding.

As a backer of both those games you mention, I'm really just happy to see the developers getting outside help with the drudge work because that leaves the creative people with more time to be creative. And who benefits the most from this in the long run? The backers, whose contributions are rewarded with a bigger and better game than what would otherwise be possible!

Good for you, I hope you get the games you wanted so much! I just hope Inafune doesn't screw you or the rest of the backers, since he has proven he can't be trusted so easily!

Sounds like the relationship here is going to be more or less like the relationship Disney used to have with RKO... or, more relevantly to this medium, the relationships Valve has had with Sierra and EA.

 

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