Subscribe to Nintendo Life on YouTubeNintendo’s efforts to promote Indies – or ‘Nindies’, as they were at one point – has been notable for a number of years, certainly dating back to the 3DS and Wii U era in terms of extra effort and attention. In the earlier days of online Indie showcases there was also a figurehead as a presenter, with one of those familiar faces being Damon Baker.
He was Head of Partner Management at Nintendo after a dozen years with the company, before he moved on to become Head of Portfolio at Xbox in early 2019.
Having left Xbox he’s now been confirmed as VP of Partnerships and Portfolio at Kepler Interactive, and having looked into the company it seems like an interesting organisation. It only formally launched in September this year (though it was founded in 2020) with the trailer above, stating that it was a launch powered by $120 million in first-round funding; evidently there are some powerful investors with confidence in the endeavour.
It pitches itself as a ‘collective’, with founding development studios and others that join in the future having co-ownership, including a share in financial success and a say in its direction.
Announced in September 2021, Kepler Interactive launched with $120 million in first-round funding and comprises of 7 founding studios with hotly anticipated titles such as Sifu, Tchia, Scorn, Tankhead and a number of other unannounced projects in development. Kepler offers a unique model whereby game studio founders become co-owners, empowering them to make key strategic decisions, including the introduction of new members to the collective, whilst being directly rewarded for the financial success of the group.
It’s a bit of a different spin on the conventional approach to game publishing and development. Of the studios involved there are some that have made notable games for eShop aficionados in the past couple of years – previous titles from the collective’s developers include Ashen and The Red Lantern.
We’ll see how the company and its varied development teams fare; it certainly seems like an organisation to watch.