Skybound Entertainment, home of Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead, is expanding yet again. The company announced Wednesday that it's launching Skybound Games, a new division that will publish video games from independent developers, overseen by 505 Games co-founder Ian Howe.
The division will launch its first retail offerings, Hinterland's The Long Dark and Monomi Park's Slime Rancher, in September of this year.
“Partnering with [Skybound co-founders] David Alpert, Robert Kirkman, and the rest of the Skybound team is the perfect home for a new video games publishing venture, given their continued dedication to creators in all forms of media,” Howe said in a statement. “The company we are building will not only provide a full range of publishing services but will also offer opportunities for game creators to expand their intellectual properties into other forms of media via Skybound’s existing relationships.”
Skybound began in 2010 as an Image Comics imprint, where The Walking Dead and other Kirkman comics like Invincible and Outcast would make their home. As with imprints founded by other Image partners, it eventually expanded to include comic book properties from other creators, and then began to expand beyond comics.
After the early television success of The Walking Dead, the company continued to develop properties for television and film production, and expanded into video games with Skybound Interactive, working with developers like Telltale to produce games based on Skybound intellectual property. Skybound Interactive will reportedly continue its work with outside developers, "while working with Skybound Games to partner with independent developers to create new IPs and further expand Skybound properties."
As for the venture's first two releases, both alread successes on Steam, here's how Skybound Games describes The Long Dark and Slime Rancher:
"The Long Dark is a thoughtful, exploration-survival experience that challenges solo players to think for themselves as they explore an expansive frozen wilderness in the aftermath of a geomagnetic disaster. The game features both a massive open-world survival sandbox, as well as an episodic narrative experience. Slime Rancher is a game about Beatrix LeBeau: a plucky, young rancher who sets out for a life a thousand light years away from Earth on the ‘Far, Far Range’ where she tries her hand at making a living wrangling slimes."
Ever since The Walking Dead became the cable juggernaut we now know, Skybound has been much more than a very successful comics imprint. Kirkman, Alpert and company just keep growing, and at this point the company seems almost unstoppable. We'll keep you posted as more details about Skybound Games and its products emerge in the coming weeks and months.