Annapurna Interactive’s support of indie game developers with unique ideas is mirrored by A24’s similar work in the film and television industry.
Although blockbuster movies and AAA games are prime sources of entertainment that shape their respective industries, indie movies and games alike bring creative new ideas that mainstream studios won’t always take risks on. That’s why it’s important to see publishers like Annapurna Interactive constantly support independent work. With the help of Annapurna, studios like Giant Sparrow and Fullbright get more publicity for moving, creative titles like What Remains of Edith Finch and Journey. It’s not always easy for indie developers to spread word about a game, but Annapurna and its fellow indie publishers help make it possible.
Annapurna is particularly valuable because of its habit of supporting unique games, sometimes with odd concepts that are hard to compare to anything else. These kinds of games can be a breath of fresh air in the industry, which often gets caught up in trending genres and mechanics. In a sense, Annapurna’s work can be compared to the film and TV distributor A24, which is known for supporting indie movies with unique premises that often can’t be found among mainstream studios. Annapurna Interactive and A24 may work in different fields, but they have a lot in common.
Comparing A24 to Annapurna Interactive
A lot of A24 projects are known for their originality, telling offbeat or unsung stories through creative formats. A great example is the Amazon Prime TV miniseries Comrade Detective, in which Channing Tatum and Jon Ronson present the English dub of a fictitious Romanian cop drama that parodies Soviet and American propaganda from the 1980s. Another is Ari Aster’s horror film Midsummer, which blends the threat of a murderous cult with the steady decay of a romantic relationship against the backdrop of a Scandinivian summer festival. With A24’s support, novel but compelling concepts find enthusiastic audiences.
In the past, Annapurna Interactive has shown support for similarly odd successes. One of Annapurna’s first published games was Gorogoa, a puzzle game in which players view the protagonist’s memories and experiences through images on a two-by-two grid that can be moved around or zoomed into; finding details in the images that connect allows the player to progress. Telling Lies makes up another surprising concept published by Annapurna, in which players watch video testimonies from four characters in an attempt to solve a mystery. Telling Lies has done a lot to show the potential of full-motion video in the gaming space, which has largely been met with mixed reception in the past.
Future Annapurna projects show its dedication to unique indie game concepts too. In 2022, industry newcomer BlueTwelve Studio plans to release Stray, a sci-fi adventure game in which players help a cat navigate a world filled with robots. Annapurna is also the publisher for the upcoming Thirsty Suitors, where players must battle their spurned exes in wacky, supernatural encounters before ultimately reconciling with them, potentially offering an experience akin to Scott Pilgrim. These kinds of games can be hard to find among mainstream publishers, but Annapurna seems to take pride in supporting developers who go against the grain.
A24 and Annapurna’s Prominence
A24 and Annapurna Interactive are also both pretty young in the grand scheme of things. A24 opened in 2012, whereas Annapurna Interactive started up in 2016. In spite of their relative youth, these groups have had a major impact by supporting clever independent creators in their respective industries. For both A24 and Annapurna Interactive, the successes of the past few years are likely only the beginning; there’s sure to be plenty more work coming out of both companies in the future.
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Annapurna Interactive is to Games as A24 is to Movies