Activision Blizzard veterans form new publisher and developer New Tales

Co-founder and CEO Cédric Maréchal talks to GameDaily about the company’s values ​​and how it plans to approach today’s market.

Last week, a handful of industry veterans lifted the curtain on New Tales, a new publisher and developer headquartered in Paris, France. The studio is led by CEO Cédric Maréchal, who has nearly 30 years of experience at Vivendi Games, Sega, Cryo and, most notably, Activision Blizzard, where he served as Senior Vice President International.

Maréchal is joined by other Activision Blizzard alumni, including another former international vice president in the person of Benoit Dufour, who will serve as COO of New Tales. Meanwhile, former EMEA Senior Director at Blizzard Delphne Le Corre will take on the role of Chief Growth Officer, and Emmanuel Obert, former EMEA Director at Blizzard is New Tales’ Chief Content Officer. Completing the list are Kim Gresko, Ray Gresko and Julia Humphreys.

“At New Tales, we have built a very experienced team (22 years in the industry on average for each team member), and we believe that we can bring values ​​to developers to maximize success, certainly by helping to tweaking the content, but more importantly on the publishing side,” Marshal told GameDaily. “We understand the DNA of the game and have deep international knowledge that allows us to deploy the optimal publishing strategies.”

Cédric Maréchal, CEO, New Tales
Cédric Maréchal, CEO, New Tales

New Tales is guided by four core values: the hearts of players; Always moving; We are a; and play for good. Marshal explained that these values ​​emerged when the team discussed their experiences in the games industry. They represent a distillation of the collective expertise of New Tales and will determine how the company will conduct its business.

“We’ve worked at 16 different game companies and experienced many different corporate cultures,” Maréchal said. “We think [the values] will just be everywhere. It certainly starts with each of us, really owning them and deciding/acting in total coherence with them.

New Tales is made up of many industry veterans, but opening a new studio is always fraught with hurdles to overcome. Marshal said the main one is starting.

“There’s tons to do with a clear focus on building movement,” he noted. “What we mean by that is that it’s kind of a snowball effect that you have to create yourself. Initially, you have a motivation, a vision, an idea, a project, whatever, and it basically starts with building the right team. Then comes the energy of these people to create and pursue opportunities, knowing that not all of them will necessarily pass through. It’s a kind of roller coaster and you have to be resilient.

Of course, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic presents its own set of issues, but Marshal said New Tales has been able to leverage its collective network within the global games industry. And while it hasn’t been an ideal situation, connecting with colleagues via video calls has been a viable substitute for in-person collaboration.

Many upstart studios tend to seek outside investment when creating them, and while New Tales hasn’t done so yet, Marshal said he plans to do so at some point in the future.

“Gaming is definitely a very competitive industry and requires investment, especially when you’re ambitious, either in terms of content creation or publishing opportunities,” he said. Long story short, we do indeed plan to seek funding at some point, partnering with partners who understand what we are set to achieve, share the same values, and could provide us with additional opportunities or support.

Overall, Maréchal is optimistic that New Tales can carve out a place for itself in the highly competitive games industry by leveraging the collective experience of the team and the popularity of the medium.

“Our ambition is just to work on great games that we would like to play. There’s tons of creativity and innovation happening in our industry right now, especially among independent studios, and it’s super exciting.

Industry growth over the past few years has been significant, however, bringing a deluge of new titles into an already booming market. This discoverability problem is a concept that Maréchal is well aware of.

“The frequency of new game releases is increasing much faster than the market growth trend, which means that, unfortunately, an increasing percentage of games will struggle, and many times the big games don’t have the level of success they would naturally deserve.”

Maréchal hopes his team’s know-how will be enough to navigate such a chaotic market, but he also recognizes the challenge ahead. The hope is to provide a smooth and lucrative opportunity for potential developers who sign with New Tales.

“When we partner with developers, we start from their needs, [and] we fully scale our support in an equitable manner,” he explained. “Driven by the same drive to succeed, we work as one team with developers, sharing common values ​​and passion. You can take the image of a rugby pack, all pushing in the same direction, as one united entity.

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Sam, the editor of GameDaily.biz, is a former freelance gaming journalist. It has been seen on IGN, PCGamesN, PCGamer, Unwinnable and many more. When he’s not writing about games, he’s most likely taking care of his two dogs or claiming to know a lot about craft coffee. Contact Sam by emailing him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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