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Controversial ‘Yandere Simulator’ Snags a Publisher

The darkly comedic stalking sim Yandere Simulator just picked up a publisher in tinyBuild.

Yandere Simulator has had quite a run already. It was banned on January 21, 2016, from the Twitch.tv live-streaming service. The ensuing quest for its reinstatement was met with close-lipped resistance from Twitch — and ultimately failed, despite a comprehensive rebuttal — but helped to develop a cult following of supportive fans.

Those fans have recently had concerns about the status of the game and the likelihood of it reaching completion. The developer offered a two-part explanation of the challenges facing the game’s development in February, as well as some prospective solutions.

Foremost among those was the idea of shifting the weight of programming to someone with specialties that aligned with the game’s needs. Alexander “YandereDev” Mahan was concerned that doing so, with the resultant time spent preparing the game for that transition, would kill the excitement that had grown around his project. That would inevitably mean a loss of crowdfunding support, effectively killing the project.

In the second video, Mahan proposed accepting help from one of the “multiple companies that have expressed interest in getting involved with Yandere Simulator’s development.” Unfortunately, none of the offers on the table were particularly appetizing. Mahan followed the video with a poll, which heavily favored “[sticking] to the original plan. Don’t deviate from the plan just to appease anyone. Don’t rush the crowdfunding campaign, don’t rush into working with a company.”

Enter: tinyBuild.

In an announcement video of the deal posted to Twitter, Mahan says that the publisher “came up numerous times” in his discussions with other creators. According to him, tinyBuild has experience “working together with struggling developers to help them finish their games” and has a “very good reputation among indie devs.” When he asked around about tinyBuild, “nobody was able to tell [Mahan] a single negative thing about them.”

Mahan “had his eye on this company for a while.” Better yet, members of the tinyBuild team are reportedly fans of the game — not least of whom is the CEO’s wife. They proposed an arrangement in which Mahan would acquire a team of people to do the lion’s share of the technical work, while he remained the game’s “lead designer and creative director.”

Mahan will retain full creative control of the game’s design, as well as ownership of the Yandere Simulator IP. He will also have final say on marketing and merchandising. In exchange for an unspecified portion of the profits, Mahan will get a full team of developers and a group of people experienced with the business and legal sides of game development to help him complete his project.

Mahan said in the video that the partnership “makes perfect sense.” He’s hoping that the “good relationships” that tinyBuild has already fostered with platforms like Steam and Twitch will benefit the project, as opposed to trying to deal with those companies on his own.

In summary, he says:

tinyBuild is going to assemble a team of professionals for me, improve the game’s code for me, and generally speed up the game’s development. They’ve agreed to invest a specific amount of money just to set things in motion, but they can’t single-handedly finance the entire game. We still need to raise money for the game’s development. This was already part of the plan before tinyBuild got involved, so this doesn’t change anything in that regard.

Mahan goes on to describe the nuts and bolts of the deal and proposed supplementing the production costs with what is essentially the “Early Access” business model. If the YouTube comments and Twitter response are anything to go by, fans are generally happy about this development — albeit still a little wary of a publisher inserting itself in the development process.

All of this has allowed “YandereDev” to guarantee that the project will be completed, which should assuage some fan concern. It sounds like a match made in Heaven — or wherever the namesake yandere’s victims go.

Follow Nate Church @Get2Church on Twitter for the latest news in gaming and technology, and snarky opinions on both.

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