Dontnod Opening Up a Montreal-Based Studio to Develop a New IP

The Life is Strange developer is expanding.

Dontnod Entertainment, the developers behind Life is Strange and Tell Me Why, has announced that it’s opening a new studio based in Montreal. You know, when studios are based from anywhere that isn’t its workers homes, am I right?

The new branch of Dontnod will be working on an original IP separate from the studio’s other projects, but several members of the Life is Strange team will be taking on leadership roles at the Montreal studio. Including Michel Koch, co-director of both the studio’s Life is Strange games, who will be taking on the title of the Creative Director. As of right now, the plan is for the Montreal side to hire at least ten people before the end of the year, with extended recruiting planned for 2021. For comparison’s sake, Dontnod’s homebase back in Paris employs about 250 developers.

From the sound of it, the Montreal team will be working on a narrative game along the lines of Life is Strange or Tell Me Why as opposed to some of the other action-oriented games the studio has also made like Remember Me and Vampyr. While the latter was fairly recent, launching in 2018, the studio has largely moved away from more active games since its first game Remember Me launched in 2013. Dontnod’s next game will be Twin Mirror, which is an adventure game about investigating an accident in the main character’s hometown. It will launch on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on December 1.

In other news:

Dontnod really rose to prominence in the public eye with the original Life is Strange in 2015, which put the studio on the path of making episodic adventure games. It focused on two teenage girls named Max Caulfield and Chloe Price, who used the former’s time manipulating abilities to solve the mystery of a disappearance of Chloe’s friend (and possible ex-girlfriend) Rachel Amber. While Vampyr was a bit of a detour from this, the company went back to the Life is Strange universe in 2018 with The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, a standalone lead-in to what would eventually become Life is Strange 2. The sequel was a new episodic series following brothers Sean and Daniel Diaz as they attempt to leave the country after an incident with a police officer led to their father’s death and the cop dying in the process. It was a mostly separate story from Max and Chloe’s, but it did have one very specific crossover. The first episode has since been made free to try for anyone who might have an interest in purchasing the full series.

Most recently, Dontnod entered a publishing agreement with Microsoft to create Tell Me Why, an episodic adventure game in a similar vein to Life is Strange that rolled out over the course of three weeks this past month. For more on that, check out Julie’s review.