Lesquin-based publisher Bigben Interactive has been doing plenty of acquisitions lately. They’ve purchased Eko Software, Cyanide, Kylotonn and most recently Spiders, rounding up some of the best French game developers.
Benoît Clerc, Head of Publishing at Bigben, clarified the publisher’s lofty goal in a recent interview with GamesBeat: to become the world’s first AA publisher in the next three to five years.
I’d definitely not say we’re an indie publisher. Of course, I have a lot of respect for indie developers and publishers. I’m a big player of those kinds of games. I love them. But we’re definitely, and we want to be, a very serious double-A publisher in the years to come. We want to be the first double-A publisher in the world in three-to-five years. That’s the ambition we’ve set and publicly vocalized.
There have always been — we’ve been using different words to say double-A. When I was working in the industry 25 years ago, we were talking about mid-price, for instance, or medium-range. But it was the same thing. Those games are more visible, if I may say so. We’re using the term double-A or mid-publishing as something which is now of value, because the creativity and the difference is more on the indie and the double-A scene than it is on the triple-A scene. The stakes are so high for the big ones that they’re fighting on the size of content, the tech they’re using, the features that they’re proposing, the post-launch activity that they’re giving to their community.
[…] The expression I’ve used in the past, which I think delivers the proper message, we want to be the middleweight champion. We have things to propose in this category which will be different, which will propose to gamers different emotions, different game mechanics, different universes, different things.
Clerc made it clear that Bigben isn’t done with the acquisitions, either.
No, definitely not. We do think that there are other fields in which we want to be a serious player. There are other genres in the game industry, and we think that there are other genres and proposals that we have to make, even some genres that are not defined as genres today that we have in mind. I mentioned the narrative RPG, which is a big sidestep for those two genres, mixing them with equal balance, the RPG elements and the narrative elements. We have other ideas, and we think we need other experts. The strategy will always be the same when it comes to developer acquisitions. We want people who are the most passionate in each genre, people that want to become the best of the experts in their specific genre.