Dontnod Entertainment was recently confirmed to have entered a funding partnership with Tencent, which now owns a minority stake in the company. The decision, according to Dontnod, will allow the company to continue self-publishing game releases. This prompted some questions online about Dontnod’s relationship with Square Enix, which had published the Life is Strange games. One industry insider was quick to respond that the Dontnod and Square Enix relationship has been defunct for some time.
Emily Rogers of Nintendo World Report, known for her ArcadeGirl64 leaks, shared what she knew on Twitter. According to Rogers, Dontnod and Square Enix “parted ways a long, long time ago.” Life is Strange 2, the two companies’ most-recent collaboration, was released in 2018. But the timeframe that Rogers is likely referring to probably goes even further back than that, indicating a split that occurred even before Life is Strange 2 was released.
With regards to the Life is Strange franchise, Rogers says that it’s going to be handled by developer Deck Nine going forward. Deck Nine, as Life is Strange fans will recall, was the developer of the Life is Strange prequel, Before the Storm. Before the Storm was released in 2017, a year prior to Life is Strange 2‘s release. Suffice to say, Square Enix’s ownership of the Life is Strange property and it handing that license to another developer may not have sat well with Dontnod.
Regardless of what happened with Life is Strange, Dontnod has plenty of opportunities in front of it. Tell Me Why, which Microsoft Game Studios published in 2020, won a Gamescom award for Best Xbox Game and the Game for Impact award at The Game Awards. And Dontnod self-published its first game in 2020, too, with Twin Mirror. Given the recent Tencent investment, Dontnod appears to have come out of its Square Enix partnership all the stronger.