You may be asking yourself: Why am I here? Why am I reading a feature about a publishing company I’ve never heard of before? To be completely honest, I don’t even blame you for your wariness. In fact, that same wariness is the same feeling I get when considering purchasing a game published by Soedesco. But we’ll get into more detail on that later.
So who is this Soedesco? A quick Google search will pull up their website, which consists of bright reds and whites; a navigation bar adorns the upper corner of the site, which gives viewers access to a number of additional pages. But most importantly, the navigation bar will direct us to Soedesco’s list of published games.
Here is where the situation becomes more difficult. You see, we’re aware of the “good” and “bad” publishers and/or developers. Companies like Sony and Naughty Dog or Remedy and Microsoft have knacks for working together and separately to create work – perhaps art, even – that they can be proud of. Then we have the giant corporations of the gaming industry in the likes of EA, Activision, and, even, Square-Enix. We know what to expect from these three – a combination of awesome, terrible, and mediocre titles. But then there are the questionable developers and/or publishers. Deep Silver, for example, is a gamble for me; I’ve played games that I’ve loved from Deep Silver, and I’ve played the unplayable from Deep Silver.
Where, then, does Soedesco fall? The Netherlands-based publisher doesn’t particularly fit into any of the aforementioned molds. As an indie games publisher, Soedesco appears to make deals with a random assortment of indie developers in order to get their game on disc. In theory, Soedesco could be hailed as having a cult following for bringing gamers the physical discs they would prefer at low costs. And, to a point, I certainly praise their efforts. Soedesco, however, has found itself publishing some trash that smears its reputation.
Games like Adam’s Venture or The Last Tinker have few redeeming qualities to them. The Last Tinker, for example, I didn’t play through the third stage. But at the same time, Soedesco has publishing some pretty decent games. For example, Ziggurat, the first person dungeon crawler that I particularly enjoy, is a solid title. But the game itself existed a couple years ago as a digital-only game, one that I’d never have seen if not for a physical copy (I loathe digital-only titles and rarely shop for them). Other games like Teslagrad or the PS Plus game Tower of Guns were decent enough, too.
In August, Soedesco will publish Among the Sleep, the first person horror game where you take the role of an infant child. It’s a game that always intrigued me, but it was never one that I felt like committing to the PC to purchase. Like other games by Soedesco, having the ability to own Among the Sleep on disc is a selling point to me. Knowing the game received fairly decent reviews already makes the purchase that much easier. Oh, and did I mention that the games are a whole $19.99 (minus 20% if you use Amazon Prime within the first two weeks)?
But back to my original point. With a publisher like Soedesco, one willing to take risks on the multiple indie developers, if I’ve never heard of nor seen the game they’re publishing in any shape, I have a lingering concern. I’ve been burned by the garbage Soedesco has published before and fascinated by others. Perhaps that in itself is an examination of an independent title and why so many gamers have issues with purchasing indie games. Whatever the case, I’m looking forward to Among the Sleep and whatever else Soedesco has to offer me (N.E.R.O. also looks interesting).
I’m not sure if this is a call to arms or a warning signal. I believe that Soedesco deserves to be supported, especially for giving indie developers the ability to reach a broader audience. At the same time, however, I believe Soedesco should take a look at the games it will be putting its name on before endorsing them. We’ve seen triple-A games flop quickly; what’s an indie game going to do?