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The role of Double Fine's publishing biz is still up in the air after joining Microsoft

The role of Double Fine's publishing biz is still up in the air after joining Microsoft

September 6, 2019 | By Alissa McAloon

“From a business sense, I don't know if it structurally makes sense to have a publisher within [another publisher]. It's a complicated issue."

- Tim Schafer talks Double Fine Presents' origins and goals in an interview with Destructoid.

Double Fine Productions’ surprise acquisition by Microsoft, announced at E3 this year, posed a number of questions, including several around the future of the company’s publishing label Double Fine Presents.

In a snippet from a recent chat with Destructoid, Double Fine founder Tim Schafer admits that exactly what will happen to Presents in the wake of that acquisition is still uncertain, even to those involved with the business.

"How Double Fine Presents will evolve is kind of an unknown. It doesn't make sense to do exactly the kind of publishing stuff if we can't do it-- like if the platforms are limited,” Schafer tells Destructoid. He goes on to explain that Double Fine’s reason for setting up Presents in the first place aimed to help novel indie games break through and get a boost in exposure with a little help from Double Fine’s established industry chops.

Still, even if the publishing side of Double Fine Presents doesn’t live on now that the studio is a member of Xbox Game Studios Schafer says the company has other initiatives that can continue to try and help indies get their time in the spotlight.

“Whether or not we're still hands-on publishing those games ourselves, we can still be fulfilling that mission of just helping indie devs even though we're a part of Microsoft," says Schafer. "We can also still do things like Day of the Devs which is another part of Double Fine Presents that helps elevate 70 or 80 games, and we let people come meet those developers and play those games, and it's free to the public. It's a great way to approach that same mission, and we can still do that without officially putting our name on it and taking a share of the revenue. We don't have to do that anymore."

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