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Dontnod Entertainment

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Don't Nod Entertainment SA
Dontnod Entertainment
Formerly
Don't Nod Entertainment SARL (2008–2018)
Public
Traded asEuronextALDNE
ISINFR0013331212
IndustryVideo game industry
Founded28 June 2008; 10 years ago (2008-06-28)
Founders
  • Hervé Bonin
  • Aleksi Briclot
  • Alain Damasio
  • Oskar Guilbert
  • Jean-Maxime Moris
Headquarters,
France
Key people
Oskar Guilbert (CEO)
RevenueIncrease 9.7 million (2017)
Number of employees
Increase 166 (2018)
Websitedont-nod.com

Don't Nod Entertainment SA (trade name: Dontnod Entertainment, stylised as DONTИOD)[nb 1] is a French video game developer based in Paris. Founded in June 2008, it started development on Remember Me (2013). Because of its poor return on investment, Dontnod resolved its financial situation with recourse to public funding to subsidise Life Is Strange (2015), whose successful release raised Dontnod's industry status. The developer followed it with Vampyr, The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, and Life Is Strange 2 in 2018, planning to release Twin Mirror in 2019.

History[edit]

Dontnod receiving an award for Life Is Strange at the 2016 Game Developers Choice Awards, with directors Raoul Barbet and Michel Koch, and producer Luc Baghadoust present

Dontnod Entertainment was founded by Hervé Bonin, Aleksi Briclot, Alain Damasio, Oskar Guilbert and Jean-Maxime Moris on 28 June 2008,[2][3] alongside other ex-Criterion Games, Ubisoft and Electronic Arts staff.[4][5] Originally based near Paris-Gare de Lyon, the studio moved into its current office in Quartier de La Chapelle to accommodate the company's growth.[6] Unreal Engine is used in all of its releases.[7][8][9]

The developer's debut title was Remember Me,[10] which would at first be a PlayStation 3-exclusive role-playing game, but was dropped by publisher Sony Interactive Entertainment in 2011 on account of cuts in funding. It was presented at Gamescom the same year to attract another publishing deal; the following year, Capcom acquired the rights and reimagined it as an action-adventure game,[6][11][12] released on multiple platforms to mixed reviews and mediocre sales.[10][11] In January 2014, French media outlets reported that Dontnod was filing for bankruptcy as a result of the poor sales of Remember Me; the bankruptcy proceeding was finalised in February 2018.[13] Dontnod responded to these reports explaining that they were in the process of "judicial reorganisation".[14][15][16] The company turned to public funding to finance a new intellectual property (IP) because of this.[17] In June 2014, Dontnod announced that they were working with publisher Square Enix on a new game,[18] which was later announced as Life Is Strange and released in 2015 over the course of five instalments.[19] It was initially thought of as a full-length title that Dontnod would self-publish, but became episodic at Square Enix's behest.[6] The game received generally favourable reviews,[20][21][22] over 75 Game of the Year awards and listings,[23] and as of May 2017 had sold in excess of three million copies.[24] The critical and commercial success of Life Is Strange marked a change in how the studio was perceived in the industry; Dontnod started being solicited by publishers, whereas they previously had to pursue publishers themselves.[25]

In April 2018, Dontnod registered with the French stock market regulator Autorité des marchés financiers to become a public company. This came after a turnover of €9.7 million in 2017, a 33-percent increase from the previous year.[26] The subscription period opened on 3 May 2018, with the first day of trading on 23 May. Listed on Euronext PME, Dontnod raised the intended €20.1 million. Twenty-five percent of the funds were spent on partnering with another studio; according to CEO Oskar Guilbert, the rest would allow further project investment as well as improvement and optimisation of production pipelines, with an internal motion capture studio cited among possibilities.[13][27] Despite Dontnod's public listing, Guilbert, together with investor Kostadin Yanev, intended to keep control over the company.[13] Around this time, the company employed 166 staff members.[13]

Following Life Is Strange was Vampyr,[28][29] an action role-playing game released on 5 June 2018.[30] 70% of the studio's 120 employees (in 2016) were devoted to the development of Vampyr, many of whom had worked on Life Is Strange.[31] The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, set within the Life Is Strange universe, was announced at E3 2018 and released the same month.[32] Dontnod started developing Life Is Strange 2 in early 2016, after its predecessor proved financially successful,[24][33][34] and published its first episode on 27 September 2018.[35]

Dontnod partnered with publisher Bandai Namco Entertainment to create an adventure game, Twin Mirror, which will be released in 2019.[36][37]

Philosophy[edit]

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,[10] in particular original, narrative-driven intellectual properties, which narrative director Stéphane Beauverger agreed was "part of Dontnod's DNA".[6][38] The company's guiding principle is to reinvent itself with every game.[6] 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.[39] In 2018, Guilbert said the company would pursue a co-production strategy with future publishers, as was done for Vampyr, limiting their part to forty percent.[13] Each project begins with a designer, writer, and art director, with the occasional producer or engineer.[27] "Dontnod Days" are maintained for unsupervised work related to ongoing projects where employees may design of their own volition.[6]

Games[edit]

Year Title Platform(s) Publisher(s)
Win Mac Lin PS3 PS4 X360 XONE Switch iOS Android
2013 Remember Me Yes No No Yes No Yes No No No No Capcom
2015 Life Is Strange Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Square Enix
2018 Vampyr Yes No No No Yes No Yes Yes No No Focus Home Interactive
The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit Yes No No No Yes No Yes No No No Square Enix
Life Is Strange 2 Yes No No No Yes No Yes No No No
2019 Twin Mirror Yes No No No Yes No Yes No No No Bandai Namco Entertainment

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Dontnod" is a palindrome devised by co-founder Alain Damasio.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Awesome Adventures Of Captain Spirit preview and interview – Life is Strange too". Metro. 19 June 2018. Archived from the original on 23 June 2018. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  2. ^ "Discover Our Story". Dontnod Entertainment. Archived from the original on 17 March 2018. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  3. ^ Dontnod Entertainment [@DONTNOD_Ent] (28 June 2018). "It's our 10-year anniversary today! Thank you to everyone for your support. We wouldn't be here without you! Thanks to our publishers: Capcom (#RememberMe), @FocusHome (#Vampyr), Bandai Namco (@TwinMirrorGame), Square Enix (@LifeIsStrange/#CaptainSpirit)" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 30 June 2018 – via Twitter.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Barnes, Ben (June 2016). "Dontnod Entertainment". Edge. No. 293. Future Publishing. pp. 94–97.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Hamilton, Kirk (4 February 2015). "What Telltale Could Learn From Life is Strange". Kotaku. Univision Communications. Archived from the original on 5 February 2015.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ Remember Me Game (24 October 2013). "Rewind – Forward The Making of Remember Me". YouTube. Google.
  13. ^ a b c d e Debes, Florian (3 May 2018). "Le studio français de jeu vidéo Dontnod compte lever 20 millions d'euros en Bourse". Les Échos (in French). Archived from the original on 4 May 2018. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  14. ^ Rose, Mike (31 January 2014). "Remember Me studio boss downplays bankruptcy reports". Gamasutra. UBM plc. Archived from the original on 8 December 2014.
  15. ^ Weber, Rachel (31 January 2014). "Dontnod CEO: "There is no bankruptcy"". GamesIndustry.biz. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on 4 June 2017.
  16. ^ Sinclair, Brendan (14 August 2014). "Hitting reset: Dontnod's new episode". GamesIndustry.biz. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on 11 December 2014.
  17. ^ Cusseau, Thomas (4 October 2013). "Le prochain DONTNOD (Remember Me) nommé ? [MàJ]". Gamekult (in French). Archived from the original on 29 March 2016.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ "Life is Strange PlayStation 4". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 13 December 2016.
  21. ^ "Life is Strange PC". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 12 April 2016.
  22. ^ "Life is Strange Xbox One". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 13 December 2016.
  23. ^ "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.
  24. ^ a b Phillips, Tom (18 May 2017). "Life is Strange 2 finally confirmed". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on 18 May 2017.
  25. ^ 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. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  26. ^ Dealessandri, Marie (19 April 2018). "Life is Strange dev Dontnod makes the first step towards going public". MCV.
  27. ^ a b Batchelor, James (25 July 2018). "The chart-topping return of Dontnod Entertainment". GamesIndustry.biz. Archived from the original on 25 July 2018.
  28. ^ Hannley, Steve (28 November 2014). "Dontnod Entertainment Working on Unannounced PS4/Xbox One RPG". Hardcore Gamer. Archived from the original on 11 December 2014.
  29. ^ 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.
  30. ^ O'Connor, Alice (8 February 2018). "Dontnod's Vampyr rises on June 5". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Archived from the original on 9 February 2018.
  31. ^ 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.
  32. ^ Farokhmanesh, Megan (10 June 2018). "New Life is Strange game, The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, coming June 26th". The Verge.
  33. ^ Riaz, Adnan (23 November 2015). "Life Is Strange Limited Edition Coming to North America for PC". Hardcore Gamer. Archived from the original on 27 July 2016.
  34. ^ 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.
  35. ^ Phillips, Tom (22 June 2018). "Life is Strange 2's first episode has a release date". Eurogamer.
  36. ^ Byrne, Katharine (22 August 2017). "EXCLUSIVE: Bandai Namco partners with Life is Strange studio Dontnod on new narrative adventure IP". MCV. Archived from the original on 23 August 2017.
  37. ^ McWhertor, Michael (8 June 2018). "Life is Strange studio reveals mystery thriller Twin Mirror". Polygon.
  38. ^ 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.
  39. ^ a b Dring, Christopher (25 October 2016). "How Life is Strange changed Dontnod". MCV. NewBay Media. Archived from the original on 4 June 2017.
  40. ^ 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]