Epic Games Publishing is bringing two more indie studios under its partnership umbrella with Cozy Grove developer Spry Fox and the recently founded Eyes Out. The two developers join the likes of Remedy Entertainment, Playdead, and genDESIGN, which announced their partnership with the gaming mega corporation last year. In addition to financial backing, the partnership means Eyes Out and Spry Fox will retain full creative freedom as well as complete ownership of their IP. Epic says that the decision to include Eyes Out and Spry Fox comes as the company continues its “pursuit of disrupting the industry” by empowering developers of all sizes.
Eyes Out — which was co-created by Spec Ops: The Line director Cory Davis and Nine Inch Nails guitarist Robin Finck — revealed itself to the public in August. Describing itself as an “arthouse” studio, its first project will be a multiplatform, single player cosmic horror game with an emphasis on narrative and environmental storytelling. Eyes Out’s partnership with Epic also involved the studio receiving an EpicMegaGrant, giving it the resources necessary to build a prototype for its game before moving into a full-fledged partnership. During a recent interview with The Escapist, Davis spoke on the freedom and encouragement Epic has provided thus far, suggesting that this could be the start of something big:
“We’re building a cosmic horror game — a cosmic horror franchise — and we really want to push in a new direction. We feel like horror really has a lot of room to grow, and games and storytelling do as well. [Epic] as a creative partner, pushing us to make it more of what we want it to be, rather than what they feel the trends might be or even what’s happening on their own store, really pushing us to be the creators that we should be… it’s been an amazing experience.”
There’s still some time to go before Davis, Finck, and the rest of the Eyes Out team is ready to share more, but you can catch a new glimpse of the studio’s future in the trailer below.
Spry Fox, meanwhile, is responsible for creating Cozy Grove, a spiritual hand-drawn adventure that came to PC and consoles earlier this year. Now, with Epic’s wind in its sails, Spry Fox is moving to ambitious new pastures that will see it creating a nonviolent, multiplatform MMO. This currently unnamed project is still in its early days as well, but you can take a peek at some concept art below.