Developer People Can Fly has just received another blow of bad news. After learning earlier this year that the studio didn’t see a penny of profit from Outriders during 2021, it’s now been revealed that Rockstar and 2K Games parent company Take-Two has made clear its intent to abandon publishing PCF’s follow-up game, currently known as Project Dagger.
In a statement posted to its website, People Can Fly announced that it “has received from Take-Two Interactive a letter of intent to terminate the development and publishing agreement by means of mutual understanding between the two parties.” Referring to Project Dagger, its next action-adventure two years into development, it goes on to describe a potentially messy situation where the two parties will now negotiate how Take-Two will recoup its investment. However, PCF states that this will “strengthen” plans to self-publish.
PCF is a developer that’s worked with a broad range of publishers. Its 2011 hit, Bulletstorm, first arrived via EA (then was republished in 2017 by Gearbox), while last year’s Outriders was published by Square Enix. The company, with studios in Poland, the UK, US and Canada, also has another game currently in development with Square Enix, and two further self-published unannounced games, plus two more VR projects on top of that! Project Dagger is being led by the New York-based arm of the developer, and PCF has made clear its intentions to now add that to its own publishing plans.
This is possible, as the statement explains, because Take-Two has “not declared the intention to exercise its option to buy out the intellectual property rights to the project,” which is good news for PCF, but also possibly demonstrates Take-Two’s potential lack of confidence in the game.
We’ve reached out to both Take-Two and People Can Fly to ask for further details, and will update this article should either reply.
PCF maintain that their relationship with Take-Two is still good, and state that they’d be happy to publish with them again. “I assume we will part on good terms,” says PCF’s CEO, Sebastian Wojciechowski. “I don’t see reasons why we couldn’t work with Take-Two on some other project in the future.” He also affirms his confidence in Project Dagger, which he says is “still in pre-production,” with the team “focusing on closing combat and game loops and migrate [sic] from UE4 to UE5.”
The statement finishes up providing estimated financials for the first half of 2022, with revenue at PLN 90.6 million ($18.3 million) and net profit at PLN 25.5 million ($5.2 million).