Making games is more accessible than ever, and the rock stars of the independent game development scene continue to kick out powerful, one-of-a-kind experiences. Open source tools, freely available game engines, and a range of in-depth tutorials across YouTube*, Twitter*, and beyond have driven facets of the games industry to flourish in niche interest areas.
American video game publisher Devolver Digital*, based in Austin, Texas, highlights, supports, and elevates the work of these rock stars. Founded in June 2009 by Mike Wilson, Harry Miller, and Rick Stults, along with business partners Nigel Lowrue and Graeme Struthers, the company found digital distribution to be a cost-efficient approach to games publishing. They’ve built a diverse portfolio of games by focusing on smaller indie titles at a time when indie games were just beginning to take off.
As of 2019, Devolver Digital has under 20 employees who all work remotely. They view their team and developer pool as a family of friends, partners, and coworkers who all strive to take strange, unique, and awesome games to broader markets. Proclaiming themselves as merely a collection of individuals and “purveyors of fine digital entertainment wares”, Devolver Digital regularly reflects the eccentric, weird, and memorable nature of the games they publish.
Browse the latest indie titles on Steam* or any console marketplace and you’ll be surprised by the breadth of styles, genres, and personalities you can find. Devolver Digital is a force to be reckoned with on this front, representing some of the most awe-inspiring and jaw-dropping projects that have arrived on the indie scene over the years. Devolver Digital titles include: Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter*, the Hotline Miami* series, Gods Will Be Watching*, Hatoful Boyfriend*, Titan Souls*, Broforce*, STRAFE*, The Talos Principle*, Minit*, the critically-acclaimed GRIS*, Metal Wolf Chaos XD*, and Enter the Gungeon*.
To date, the company has framed a few of their press conferences at the Electronic Entertainment Expo* as the “Big Fancy Press Conference”. These events reveal some of their latest releases and ongoing projects. At the same time, Devolver Digital uses the event to coordinate a performance that parodies elements of floor shows and represents their penchant for style, comedy, and personality-driven endeavors.
They also have a film distribution subsidiary named Devolver Digital Films. They cited the lack of support for independent filmmakers in the areas of distribution and financial support as the core reason for this endeavor. Through this, they are beginning to influence the film industry just as they have the games industry.
Now, Digital Devolver is working on porting and adapting a number of their games, including GRIS and Minit, to mobile platforms to get their games into the hands of as many people as possible. Many developers are driven by a passion for the product, the nostalgic cadence of games played in youth, and the hope of creating something as inspirational, moving, and engaging as those impressionable early experiences. Focusing on games with small budgets and relatively small scope, Devolver Digital strives to put the creative efforts of their creative partners on a pedestal and celebrate the hard work, love, and energy that goes into each and every game.