GTA publisher Take-Two Interactive has terminated a publishing deal with People Can Fly two years after development of the studio’s next project.
The developer of Outriders announced the end of the partnership in a declaration (opens in new tab) which said the studio had “received from Take-Two Interactive a letter of intent to terminate the development and publishing contract through mutual understanding”.
Take-Two was scheduled to publish an unannounced “action-adventure” game based on an original IP. Codenamed Project Dagger, the game is still in pre-production. People Can Fly says it will now focus on narrowing its combat and gameplay loops, as well as migrating it from Unreal Engine 4 to Unreal Engine 5.
More live service whines?
The statement does not reveal why Take-Two withdrew from the publishing deal, although it frames the decision as being made on good terms. People Can Fly CEO Sebastian Wojciechowski said he sees no reason for the studio not to work with Take-Two again in the future.
People Can Fly has retained the rights to the project and will continue development before publishing the final version. According to the statement, Take-Two had the option to purchase the property rights, but decided not to do so. Wojciechowski frames the editor’s downtime as just a hiccup on the road to full project completion.
Project Dagger is one of seven games currently in development at People Can Fly right now. The studio is also working on a game in partnership with Square Enix, two others that will be self-published, and some VR titles.
More recently, it worked with Square Enix to release the live service FPS Outriders in 2020. We think it was a “quirky game” with a cookie cutter cover shot that makes a horrible first impression. But sink enough hours into it and you’ll find “an undeniable charm to the Outriders’ vision in the marauder shooter genre.”
While Outriders wasn’t received wonderfully among critics, it didn’t fare as poorly as Square Enix’s latest foray into live service gaming, which turned out to be a disaster.