It's 2021, the golden era of the indie. Everywhere gamers turn, indie titles bask in their glorious moments of the spotlight. It's like a renaissance of titles. Even though indie titles were once almost PC-exclusive, now all the major consoles and systems scramble for the next "new" indie developer.
However, we owe special thanks to indie publisher Annapurna Interactive, an indie developer founded in 2016. Their teams are responsible for breakout titles like Stanley Parable and Gone Home, to name only a couple.
The studio began as an extension of Annapurna Pictures, the film studio behind award-nominated titles like 2012's Zero Dark Thirty and 2013's Her. Its founders included plenty of the original Annapurna team, such as Megan Ellison. It also added heavy-hitting video game veterans like Jenova Chen of thatgamecompany, Deborah Mars and Nathan Gary of Sony Computer Entertainment, and Jeff Legaspi of Santa Monica Studios. The founders' previous work included hits like God of War, Mortal Kombat, and Journey.
Together, the team built a community of creativity. Their motto is one of inclusivity, aimed at telling personal experiences made for everyone. The studio works with creators worldwide to find and publish the stunning stories that indie game developers are making for our modern times. You've probably played or heard about at least one Annapurna Interactive title!
Annapurna Interactive's Hit List
It would be impossible to list all of the great titles that Annapurna graced our computers and consoles with since their founding. A few topped our charts and made their homes among some of the most beloved indie titles in the community. Here's a brief list of some cult classic Annapurna Interactive titles and their accolades:
- What Remains of Edith Finch: The Game Award's Best Narrative 2017
- Gorogoa: Game Developers' Choice Awards Best Mobile Game 2017
- Flower: Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Casual GotY 2010
- Journey: Game Developers' Choice Awards GotY 2013
- Outer Wilds: Golden Joystick Award's Indie GotY 2019
- Florence: The Game Award's Best Mobile Game 2018
- Gone Home: Polygon's GotY 2013
- Sayonara Wild Hearts: D.I.C.E. Awards Portable GotY 2020
Project Showcase 2021: A Big First, Bursting with Bangers
Big things happened on Thursday, July 29! Annapurna Interactive went live with their very first project showcase. There was plenty on display, such as updates on the hotly anticipated Stray, as well as some expansion content for existing games! We even got a glance at some new partnership announcements with even more indie developers. There was so much more happening for Annapurna. Let's take a quick look at the hottest highlights from the day!
- Ivy Road: The creator of The Stanley Parable, the creator of Gone Home, and the original composer for Minecraft announced they formed their very own studio while sipping some tea in a wild, wacky video. While there weren't any concrete details about their flagship project, the studio's called Ivy Road. Look forward to what slightly insane announcement might be coming from them and Annapurna later this year!
- Jessica Mak: The creative mind behind Everyday Shooter, also teamed up with Annapurna in an exciting but untitled project. As Mak suggested, expect an abstract exploration that the musical components present in Everyday Shooter are making a musical comeback.
- Outer Loop: Outer Loop execs made a brief appearance, teasing a new team-up with Annapurna. They mentioned this upcoming game would focus on "immigrant culture growing up in the US, gossiping aunties, overbearing parents, and family pressure." Couple this with the brief footage of skateboarding gameplay they teased, and we expect great things soon.
- No Code Entertainment Productions: The team behind Observation and Stories Untold gave us a brief glimpse into their latest intentional horror project, along with some personal diatribe about their history of accidentally stumbling into spooky or scary games. Having always found their way into horror, this time they decided to pay the genre a visit in their latest purposefully, yet untitled team-up with Annapurna Interactive.
This story follows the nephew of a world-famous folklore musician as he discovers the importance of music and self. We finally got a release date of September 9, 2021, along with a brand-new story trailer. There were also complete details on what consoles it's releasing on: Xbox (with immediate GamePass availability!) and Steam.
This action-packed first-person shooter got another new trailer showcasing a bit of gameplay, along with confirmation that it's dropping on Nintendo Switch and Steam this winter!
This title's reveal features a family-driven narrative where the key focus seems to be, of course, memory. There are some oceanic themes, as well. It's releasing later on all major consoles as well as iOS.
A demo's already out on Steam, but the full game reveal promises a release on both Steam and Nintendo Switch. Players solve puzzles via story creation, getting the title of a tale and then piecing it together. Looks neat!
The final trailer for this upcoming parkour-heavy action game gave us a reveal date: October 26, 2021! The title's dropping only on PS4, PS5, and PC.
This upcoming puzzle-action game gave us a glimpse at some gameplay, including a friendly robot reminding us to stay clean, lest the space pirates get a whiff of us! Check out this weird title about protecting space cats from pirates sometime down the road, exclusively on Steam.
The long-anticipated game where we'll play as an alley cat in the big city got a critical update with gameplay and a release delay to some time in 2022. It's still launching on Ps4, PS5, and Steam.
The award-winning game got its first expansion announcement on Thursday, as well as a Nintendo Switch release announce. Outer Wilds base game comes to Switch this holiday season, but the expansion's out on September 28 for PS4, Steam, Epic Games Store, and Xbox!
Keep Up With Annapurna Interactive
Like all good game studios, Annapurna Interactive keeps fans updated on the latest details through social media. Check out their extensive playlists on YouTube or get involved with the community on Twitter, Facebook, or Discord!