Welcome to the newest installment of Industry Interviews. Do you wish your favorite digital only titles could find their way to a physical release? Then get ready to learn about Strictly Limited Games, a new Germany based video game publisher that is bringing those online games to disc (and possibly cartridge) in a very limited quantity! With a strong first two releases of Tokyo 42 and Gryphon Knight Epic on the PS4, it’s clear that we can expect great quality titles each month. Joining The Switch Effect today is Ben and Dennis, Co-Founders of the label, to provide us with a behind the scenes look at this company.
Benedict Braitsch and Dennis Mendel, thank you so much for allowing us to interview you. Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves and how you got into the gaming industry?
Hi, thanks for giving us the chance to talk about Strictly Limited Games with you!
Dennis: Since childhood I’ve always been interested in videogames and the culture that surrounds them, so media science and Japanese studies seemed to fit pretty well as academic subjects. During and after my time at university I worked for Fraunhofer, a German research organization (known for inventing the MP3 compression). While being in science, I focused on game preservation, gaming literacy and on the impact of games on individuals and culture. I then went to Square Enix in London in order to learn more about games from the perspective of the industry before working for Softdistribution, a digital game and software distributor who made our Strictly Limited label possible.
Benedict: I am currently at the end of my studies at Stuttgart Media University. For the longest part of my life, I’ve been a passionate gamer and collector. During my studies, I focused on video games more and more, with the highlight of doing my practical semester at Softdistribution, where I met Dennis.
What was your first console/game you ever played?
Dennis: Buzz Bombers for Intellivision! As far as I remember, this was the first console game I’ve ever played (and I still have it).
Benedict: For me it was Super Mario 64. I’ve played this with a friend who owned a N64 console. Good times…
Growing up, did you have any fond childhood memories around gaming?
Dennis: After looooong negotiations I got a Japanese Mega Drive as a Christmas present from my parents. Unfortunately, the RGB cable was broken and in Germany, all shops were closed during holidays. I was really sad, but then I plugged my Walkman earphones into the console (it had a stereo out) and got blasted away from the incredible soundtrack of Thunderforce III while browsing through the manual. I think this is the first and only time ever that I ‘played’ a game for hours without actually seeing anything on screen.
Benedict: Plenty! I’ve had a great time playing the first Star Wars game together with my brother. Loved playing strategy classics such as Age of Empires and Stronghold on PC and also countless games on the Game Boy Classic.
For those who might not be aware, can you share some background on Strictly Limited Games and the vision you have for the company?
We started Strictly Limited Games because we love the idea and potential behind and doing so is like a dream coming true. It’s basically a startup within the company we are working for and it required a lot of talking to convince our CEO to give us the opportunity and resources to make this a real thing. In the future, we want to see more physical editions of download-only games in our shelves, but we are also working on some exclusive and exciting projects, which we can’t reveal yet.
According to your site, you plan on releasing games for the PS4 and PS Vita. Can you describe the process that goes into determining which developer to work with and what games to publish?
We publish games we like and hope others will like them do! Simple. When there is an interesting game, we try to get in touch with the developer to see if he would like to tackle this together with us.
We at The Switch Effect are obviously huge fans of Nintendo’s newest system. In addition, we LOVE physical games so much that members of our staff are going for a COMPLETE physical collection. What are your thoughts on the Switch?
A complete physical collection is something awesome and there is nothing better than having a complete collection of games for your favorite platform. At first, I was very skeptic about the Nintendo Switch. Dennis got one on Day One and as soon as I played it, I got into the system too! The Joy Cons can be a little tricky at first, but we are both more than happy that Nintendo made a successful comeback with the Switch.
Recent reports have stated that your company plans to release titles on the Nintendo Switch as well. Can you comment on that?
We do! We are licensed as a publisher for Nintendo and will publish Switch games in 2018. For now, we need to focus on PlayStation first. There are some general workflows we want to improve and as soon as this is done, we will be looking into our first Switch release.
Can you share with us how the approval process went with Nintendo?
The approval process was straight forward. They limited the amount of publishers for the early days of the Nintendo Switch, but now it’s much easier to get approved for the platform. We have been invited to Frankfurt and met some wonderful people from the Nintendo publisher relation team. They are so passionate about the Nintendo Switch and gaming in general and we had a blast meeting these great people!
With all the digital games that have been released and announced for the Switch, what are your top three games you would love to bring to cartridge?
- Sonic Mania
- I Am Setsuna
- Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
What upcoming games, besides your own, are you most looking forward to playing?
Dennis: Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom from FDG Entertainment.
Benedict: Finding Paradise. It’s a PC game, but after Kan Gao’s masterpiece To the Moon I am really looking forward to his next game.
Could give us a hint as to what your first Nintendo Switch title(s) will be and when we may expect them to go live on your site?
Our already announced releases can be a hint, but we don’t have release dates yet and you shouldn’t expect them too soon.
Finally, is there anything else you’d like to share?
Any additional information requires a DLC for 2.99€ only. Joke, it’s included in the season pass. Thank you very much for the interview and have a great day everyone!
Thank you again so much for taking the time to answer our questions and allow our readers and followers to learn more about Strictly Limited Games. We wish you much success and look forward to your future releases!