My name is Benjamin Anseaume, CEO of TA Publishing, a production company working in the video game industry and a subsidiary of Forever Entertainment, the largest video game distributor on Nintendo Switch in Europe.
Forever Entertainment was founded in 2010 and is essentially a video game publisher, but we also own several video game development studios, which allows us to not only develop our own IPs, but also focus on bringing classic 90's IPs to today's gamers. We’ve had the pleasure of developing and publishing games such as: Panzer Dragoon: Remake, House of the Dead: Remake, Front Mission 1st: Remake, and many others.
The idea of remaking classic games has been our main area of focus for so long that it's difficult to recall the exact catalyst. However, there were a few trailblazers, such as Bluepoint with their stunning remake of Shadow of the Colossus in 2018 and Lizardcube with Wonderboy, that paved the way for us. Their success demonstrated to us that this was not an isolated occurrence, but rather a widespread trend within the industry.
Our fundamental belief is centred on our passion for the game. Our decisions are predominantly based on our personal affinity towards an intellectual property rather than purely the potential profits it can generate. We tend to engage with IP holders who share our love for gaming and whose games we have played.
The licensing process is undoubtedly a challenging and protracted journey fraught with challenges and setbacks. However, I find that it serves as a harbinger of the collaboration that will follow. The way we communicate, exchange ideas, and finalise the deal while the enthusiasm for the project is fresh, offers a good indication of the cooperation that will ensue through development and release.
When you’re targeting a niche like we are doing, games from the 1990's or 2000's - and gamers 30 to 40 years old, it’s always complicated to find the best opportunities. We need to find IP’s which still have an active community, as well having stood the test of time and be relevant to a new audience.
I do this process by myself almost everyday, but everything is easier with Layer. You target the IPs you want to work with and you know that the IP owners are open for collaborations, so it avoids wasting your time contacting someone who’s not going to be interested.
As soon as I understood the concept of Layer I thought "it's a great idea!", a platform offering a large amount of opportunities, and support to close it, with IP owners we don't know, it's just what the market needs now. Layer has been instrumental in addressing issues that I may not have been able to tackle independently. Specifically, they have facilitated my access to intellectual properties owned by individuals with whom I have no pre-existing relationship.
The first thing that struck me was the simplicity of the platform, everything is smooth and easy. Then, very shortly after entering my first preferences, I had contact with the Layer team and I must say that I was amazed, they were all kind, helpful and extremely professional, it’s definitely one of Layer’s strongest points.
In order to find the IP, I just added information on my company, some of our previous work in the "projects" section, and also a pitch with the new project. I tried to target the audience as precisely as possible, which was surprisingly easy with the Layers tools, and I received a list of available IPs matching my preferences. I had to fine tune them, because the list was big, but after a few minutes I had a pretty interesting list of available IPs. I took a few days to do my research on them, and then I could submit my pitch to the IP owner, it could not have been simpler.