Yooka-Laylee developer Playtonic launches Friends publishing label

Yooka-Laylee developer Playtonic launches Friends publishing label

The developer behind the Yooka-Laylee series of platformers Playtonic Games has opened a publishing label.

Dubbed Playtonic Friends, this apparently will help bring "fresh, creative and compelling" games into the wild. At the moment, Playtonic is working with BPM: Bullets Per Minute studio Awe Interactive, Fabraz of Slime-san fame as well as Okidokico, best known for its OK Golf Series of mobile games. We'll be hearing about the first games coming from Playtonic Friends "soon."

“The knowledge that we were coming up to our sixth birthday triggered lots of typical Teams calls amongst the staff here at Playtonic,” CEO Gavin Price said.

“Should we all don party hats and video chat together? Should we have a few mocktails, whip out the Karaoke and belt out our best Beyoncé? Or should we launch a new publishing label designed to bring the best games from indie studios the world over to market? Given I had a bit of scratchy throat that evening - and that the establishment of Playtonic Friends had been brewing as a serious ambition for a while - we went with that.”

Business development manager Steph Darrah added: “While everyone at Playtonic has dreams of recreating Scrooge McDuck splashing around in his pool of cold, hard cash, in reality our motivation for setting up Playtonic Friends was to take what we’ve learned about producing & releasing video games and use it to aid developers of a like mind looking for a fruitful route to market. That said, a yacht moored on the shores of Monte Carlo would be nice.”

Playtonic was founded back in 2014 before going to Kickstarter the following year with its debut title, Banjo-Kazooie spiritual-successor Yooka-Laylee. That crowdfunding push was a wild success, but the game launched to mixed reviews in 2017.

In 2019, the studio released a sequel, The Impossible Lair, which received a more favourable reception.

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Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.