Starbreeze makes return to third-party publishing

Starbreeze makes return to third-party publishing

Sweden's Starbreeze is returning to third-party publishing with the upcoming The Tribe Must Survive.

This title is developed by Walking Tree Games and is set to launch on Steam Early Access next year. That's ahead of a 1.0 release in 2024.

This is the first third-party title that Starbreeze has agreed to publish since it closed down its publishing arm in 2019. That was in the wake of the company going bust and having to restructure itself.

There is one major catch to the publishing agreement with Walking Tree Games – Starbreeze is only going to be publishing The Tribe Must Survive if the game secures funding from the German state. So we will see whether that comes through.

Starbreeze says its publishing arm will provide marketing, community management and development expertise.

“The Tribe Must Survive is a game that immediately gets you hooked and allows for a lot of innovative additions over its lifetime,” Starbreeze CEO Tobias Sjögren (pictured) said.

“We are certain that this game will be greatly appreciated, not only by our existing audience but also a whole new player base. Starbreeze’s growing publishing team can help with our known expertise in keeping players engaged over a long period of time.”

Walking Tree Games' co-founder Simon Mittrücker added: “With The Tribe Must Survive we want to offer something really fresh and unique. A big part of that is fostering a community that helps the game with feedback and ideas. Starbreeze has a great history of creating outstanding IP, building huge communities, and successfully running games-as-a-service, making them the ideal partner for The Tribe Must Survive.”

Starbreeze sold off most of its publishing rights in 2018 and 2019 when things were becoming really tough for the company. 

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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.