Wet developer ditches old name in digital push

Wet developer ditches old name in digital push

By Rob Crossley

November 8th 2010 at 12:10PM

Artificial Mind and Movement rechristened Behaviour Interactive

The largest independent studio in Canada has rebranded itself with a new mission to break into the nascent digital markets.

Behaviour Interactive – formerly known as Artificial Mind and Movement – will continue to undertake contract work for publishers, yet the group has targeted new opportunities in the self-publishing online world.

“Angry Birds is a good example of our objectives,” said the Montreal developer’s CEO Remi Racine.

In an interview with Develop he said the studio’s own brand has become more of a commercial factor as it self-publishes under its own name.

“As we create more online product our name will be more important, and we felt ‘Artificial Mind and Movement’ was too long, and people don’t remember it, and it isn’t very interesting,” he said.

The money used to fund these projects will come from Behaviour’s own capital. The firm isn’t raising money or putting itself in any debt – a financial position it has earned, ironically, from the work-for-hire projects it is now breaking away from.

Racine said the group’s push into the digital space started some three years ago – and insists the rebranding is not an attempt to hide away mistakes of the past.

“We don’t want to be seen as a new company – we want to be seen as a forward-thinking one. Changing our brand is part of that,” he said.

“We’re proud of our past – we’ve made mistakes obviously – but we’re proud of what we’re doing. But a name change will obviously help.”

In a financial climate when even the likes of Realtime Worlds can crumble from one failed self-publishing project, Racine says the firm will take careful steps.

“We want to build a business of course, but we want to build it with financial prudence. We want to be smart about this, and choose carefully about which ideas we can invest in.

“We’re not building original IP just for the sake of it. I still think we have a great concept in games like Naughty Bear and Wet, but going forward our ideas need to be more provocative.”

In the wide-ranging interview with Develop, Racine added that he wants the firm to remain independent.

“I turned down an [acquisition] offer, and at the time the price wasn’t right.

“There’s been a lot of studio buyouts over the last ten years, and sometimes it’s to grow workforce capacity, sometimes for IP, sometimes for know-how. We were approached for our know-how and staff capacity and I wasn’t interested in just joining a publisher.”