It has been a September to remember for Take-Two Interactive. The company experienced a massive leak for the upcoming GTA 6 and the media coverage surrounding the event has been insane.
Well, Take-Two is again back in the spotlight as it has reportedly dropped its agreement to publish Project Dagger. The game has been in development over the last two years and it's currently in pre-production.
A financial update from People Can Fly (PCF), the studio behind Outriders and Gears of War Judgement, states that Take-Two will no longer be publishing Project Dagger. According to the studio’s website, People Can Fly received a letter of intent from Take-Two to "terminate the development and publishing agreement by means of mutual understanding between the parties" with regards to the new action-adventure IP.
The statement from PCF also details that the studio has to repay the advances that Take-Two has made for the development of the game. The payment mode will depend on how the game is published later on.
People Can Fly will be retaining the rights to the IP as Take-Two has not exercised its option to buy out the game as stipulated in the contract.
PCF intends to self-publish Project Dagger as a consequence of being dropped by Take-Two. The studio admits that this will incur additional investments. However, they have not ruled out the possibility of working with a new publisher for the action-adventure game.
Project Dagger devs are reportedly focusing on closing combat and game loops. PCF will also be migrating from Unreal Engine 4 to Unreal Engine 5 for its new IP. The New York-based studio is handling development for the game and is being led by David Grijns, who was the executive producer for Just Cause 3.
Project Dagger was announced way back in 2020 with Roland Lesterlin as creative director. Lesterlin previously worked as game director for Just Cause 3. PCF describes Project Dagger as a "highly ambitious, groundbreaking action-adventure title."
Speaking of bad news for People Can Fly, it's believed that Outriders hasn't made the studio profit by the end of last year. According to reports, Square Enix did not pay PCF any royalties from the game as a result of insufficient sales. This means that the publisher did not recoup the expenses it incurred in developing and publishing Outriders. PCF remains hopeful that the game will finally make money before this year ends.
Despite the financial loss, People Can Fly will continue developing the DLC for Outriders as it is stipulated in the contract with Square Enix.
Project Dagger is only one of seven projects for PCF. There is one more game under Square Enix while the two others will be self-published. There are also two upcoming VR titles and one that is in its early concept stage.