Modern Wolf is a new publisher that’s all about ethical game development
Modern Wolf is a brand new indie publisher that’s committed to developer well-being and zero crunch. It’s also got quite a line-up of titles.
It’s been widely reported that when it comes to the video game industry, developer crunch is all over the place. With release dates to meet and milestones to hit, developers have often had to work long and tiresome hours to deliver the games that you enjoy (or don’t). It’s heartening, then, to see a publisher that’s tackling this menace head-on. Modern Wolf is a London-based publisher that’s looking to change the game—or at least, how the game is made.
Modern Wolf has been founded by Fernando Rizo and Andreas Gschwari, with funding from Supernova Capital LLP. As part of its commitment to ethical game development, Modern Wolf declares a “zero tolerance on crunch” and “an acute sensitivity to mental health wellbeing”. Here’s how Modern Wolf sees things:
At Modern Wolf we treat our developers like partners, not like cogs in a machine. We structure development so our devs don’t have to crunch or sacrifice health or sanity to hit arbitrary milestones.
As a publisher, Modern Wolf is going to focus on strategy and strategy-adjacent games. There does seem to be a little bit of leeway, if the announced slate of games is anything to go by. Still, the publisher describes its target game as “stuff that plays a little slower and more thoughtfully than a twitchy action game”.
Modern Wolf has already paired up with a number of established developers for its initial line-up. Here’s the game’s they’ve got, all tied up in a tidy Gamescom trailer:
Here’s the deets on the games they have so far:
Out There: Oceans of Time is described as an “indie Mass Effect”, and it will be a mix of interactive fiction, strategy, and survival. It’s looking to be a grand old space opera, and it’s coming from Mi-Clos Studio, the developers of Sigma Theory. It’s expected out sometime before the end of 2020 on PC.
Necronator: Dead Wrong is a “lane defense RTS mixed with a deck-building card game”, coming from Indonesian developer Toge Productions. You might know them for having previously published She and the Light Bearer (check out our review here!). The game is being written by interactive fiction author Chandler Groover. It will be hitting Early Access by the end of the year, and is expected to eventually release on PC, consoles, and mobile.
Ostranauts is a spaceship management game in which the Earth is off-limits to you. It comes from Blue Bottle Games, which previously created the brilliant NEO Scavenger. Expect a PC Early Access release “soon”.
Skeleton Crew is a “physics-based dungeon-crawler platform brawler”, and if that’s not the best genre descriptor for a video game, then I don’t know what is. This looks the most un-strategy-like of the bunch, but it does look like a rollicking, bouncing time. It’s Expect it in Summer 2020, on PC and consoles.
Rogue State Revolution is a roguelike about geopolitics, in which you control the fictional Middle-Eastern republic of Basenji. With Politics™ to deal with and a a coup dangling over your head, you’re going to have to see how long you can last. It comes from Little Red Dog Games, who previously developed another game of geopolitical strategy, Precipice. Expect it on PC all the way in 2021.
If you’d like to check out more about Modern Wolf, or work with them, have a look at their official website here.