Dontnod Entertainment

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Don't Nod Entertainment SARL
Dontnod Entertainment
Private
Industry Video game industry
Founded 2 June 2008; 9 years ago (2008-06-02)
Founders
  • Hervé Bonin
  • Aleksi Briclot
  • Alain Damasio
  • Oskar Guilbert
  • Jean-Maxime Moris
Headquarters Paris, France
Key people
Oskar Guilbert (CEO)
Number of employees
120[1] (2016)
Website dont-nod.com

Don't Nod Entertainment SARL, doing business as Dontnod Entertainment (stylised as DONTИOD), is a French video game developer based in Paris. Founded in 2008, it started development on the action-adventure Remember Me (2013). Because of its poor return of investment, Dontnod resolved its financial situation with recourse to public funding in order to subsidise the graphic adventure Life Is Strange (2015). The momentum gained from Life Is Strange's successful release was allocated to focus on the upcoming action role-playing game Vampyr (2017) and Life Is Strange 2 (TBA).

History[edit]

Don't Nod Entertainment SARL[2] was co-founded by Hervé Bonin, Aleksi Briclot, Alain Damasio, Oskar Guilbert and Jean-Maxime Moris on 2 June 2008 along with other ex-Criterion Games, Ubisoft and Electronic Arts staff.[3][4] Originally based near Paris-Gare de Lyon, the studio eventually moved into its current office in Quartier de La Chapelle to accommodate the company's growth. The venue itself is draped with artwork based on their video games.[5] Dontnod Entertainment uses the Unreal Engine in all of its releases.[6][7][8]

The first game created by the developer was Remember Me.[9] It would at first be a PlayStation 3-exclusive role-playing game, but was dropped by the publisher Sony Interactive Entertainment in 2011 on account of cuts in funding. The project was presented at Gamescom in 2011 with the intention of attracting another publishing deal. It was acquired by Capcom the following year and reimagined as an action-adventure game,[5][10][11] released on multiple platforms to mixed reviews and mediocre sales.[9][10] On 31 January 2014, French media outlets reported that Dontnod was filing for bankruptcy as a result of the poor sales of Remember Me. Dontnod responded to these reports explaining that the developer was in the process of "judicial reorganisation".[12][13][14] The company turned to public funding to finance a new intellectual property as a result of this.[15] On 5 June 2014, Dontnod announced that they were working on a new game with publisher Square Enix to be distributed digitally.[16] The game was announced to be Life Is Strange, and was released in 2015 over the course of five instalments.[17] It was initially thought as a full-length title that Dontnod would self-publish, but became an episodic title after Square Enix suggested it.[5] The game received generally favourable reviews,[18][19][20] over 75 Game of the Year awards and listings[21] and as of May 2017, had sold in excess of three million copies.[22] The financial and commercial success of Life Is Strange marked a change in how the studio was perceived in the industry. Following its release, Dontnod started being solicited by publishers, where once they had to pursue publishers themselves.[23]

The studio is in development on an action role-playing game called Vampyr set for release in 2017[24][25] and Life Is Strange 2.[22][26]

Philosophy[edit]

CEO Oskar Guilbert said in April 2016 that the studio had cast off the ambition of making triple A games and would only see themselves devoted to independent projects,[9] in particular original, narrative-driven intellectual properties, which narrative director Stéphane Beauverger agreed was "part of Dontnod's DNA".[5][27] The company's guiding principle is to reinvent itself with every game.[5] For the sake of maintaining the motivation of players and publishers, the production cycle since releasing the five-year commitment Remember Me was reduced to two and a half or three years.[28] On occasion, what the studio calls "Dontnod Days" are maintained for unsupervised work related to ongoing projects where employees may design of their own volition.[5]

Games[edit]

Year Title Platform(s) Publisher(s)
Win Mac Lin PS3 PS4 X360 XONE
2013 Remember Me Yes No No Yes No Yes No Capcom
2015 Life Is Strange Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Square Enix
2017 Vampyr Yes No No No Yes No Yes Focus Home Interactive
TBA Life Is Strange 2 TBA Square Enix

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Handrahan, Matthew (18 October 2016). ""There are not as many questions. We have more freedom now"". GamesIndustry.biz. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on 19 October 2016. 
  2. ^ "Life Is Strange™ - manual". Feral Interactive. Archived from the original on 5 June 2017. 
  3. ^ Cook, Dave (14 August 2012). "Remember Me: Capcom announces new IP from Dontnod Entertainment". VG247. Videogaming247 Ltd. Archived from the original on 11 December 2014. 
  4. ^ IGN Staff (11 July 2011). "Dontnod Entertainment Outlines its First Video Game on Console". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on 11 December 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Barnes, Ben (June 2016). "Edge #293". Edge. p. 94-97: Future plc. 
  6. ^ Gaudiosi, John (30 July 2013). "Dontnod Entertainment Brings Neo-Paris to Life with Unreal Engine 3". Unreal Engine. Epic Games. Archived from the original on 31 May 2017. 
  7. ^ Hamilton, Kirk (4 February 2015). "What Telltale Could Learn From Life is Strange". Kotaku. Univision Communications. Archived from the original on 5 February 2015. 
  8. ^ Makuch, Eddie (2 December 2015). "This New World War 1 Vampire Game Explores a "Dark and Brutal" World". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 3 December 2015. 
  9. ^ a b c Farokhmanesh, Megan (25 April 2016). "From Life is Strange to Vampyr: Dontnod's dark turn". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on 25 April 2016. 
  10. ^ a b Martin, Matt (14 August 2012). "Capcom grabs IP rights to new title Remember Me". GamesIndustry.biz. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on 16 August 2012. 
  11. ^ Remember Me Game (24 October 2013). "Rewind - Forward The Making of Remember Me". YouTube. Alphabet Inc. 
  12. ^ Rose, Mike (31 January 2014). "Remember Me studio boss downplays bankruptcy reports". Gamasutra. UBM plc. Archived from the original on 8 December 2014. 
  13. ^ Weber, Rachel (31 January 2014). "Dontnod CEO: "There is no bankruptcy"". GamesIndustry.biz. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on 4 June 2017. 
  14. ^ Sinclair, Brendan (14 August 2014). "Hitting reset: Dontnod's new episode". GamesIndustry.biz. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on 11 December 2014. 
  15. ^ Cusseau, Thomas (4 October 2013). "Le prochain DONTNOD (Remember Me) nommé ? [MàJ]". Gamekult (in French). Archived from the original on 29 March 2016. 
  16. ^ Campbell, Evan (5 June 2014). "Remember Me Developer Dontnod Creating New Game With Square Enix". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on 8 December 2014. 
  17. ^ Conditt, Jessica (14 August 2014). "Life is Strange: Ambiguous young love among leading ladies". Engadget. AOL. Archived from the original on 11 November 2014 – via Joystiq. 
  18. ^ "Life is Strange PlayStation 4". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 13 December 2016. 
  19. ^ "Life is Strange PC". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 12 April 2016. 
  20. ^ "Life is Strange Xbox One". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 13 December 2016. 
  21. ^ "Legendary Digital Studios Partners with Square Enix and dj2 to Adapt Award Winning Episodic Videogame Life Is Strange™ into Digital Series". Legendary Entertainment. Wanda Group. 27 July 2016. Archived from the original on 1 June 2017. 
  22. ^ a b Phillips, Tom (18 May 2017). "Life is Strange 2 finally confirmed". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on 18 May 2017. 
  23. ^ Dring, Christopher (19 August 2016). "'Publishers are now calling us' - How Life is Strange has transformed Dontnod". MCV. NewBay Media. Archived from the original on 19 August 2016. 
  24. ^ Hannley, Steve (28 November 2014). "Dontnod Entertainment Working on Unannounced PS4/Xbox One RPG". Hardcore Gamer. Archived from the original on 11 December 2014. 
  25. ^ Copeland, Wesley (20 January 2015). "Remember Me and Life Is Strange Dev Making RPG Vampyr". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on 22 January 2015. 
  26. ^ Porreca, Ray (18 May 2017). "A new Life is Strange game is in the works". Destructoid. ModernMethod. Archived from the original on 1 June 2017. 
  27. ^ Jarvis, Matthew (5 September 2016). "Dontnod CEO dismisses Telltale comparisons, reinforces commitment to original IP". Develop. NewBay Media. Archived from the original on 4 June 2017. 
  28. ^ a b Dring, Christopher (25 October 2016). "How Life is Strange changed Dontnod". MCV. NewBay Media. Archived from the original on 4 June 2017. 
  29. ^ Frank, Allegra (19 August 2016). "Dontnod Eleven isn't catering to Life is Strange fans, and that’s the point". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on 19 August 2016. 

External links[edit]