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Some of the biggest names in indie games are teaming up to put on a 'no fluff' showcase of new game announcements

 Triple I Iniative Logo.
Triple I Iniative Logo.

French indie studio Evil Empire, which has spent the last five years working on expansions for roguelike sensation Dead Cells, prides itself on being a "triple I" developer: independent, but still big enough to make "world-class" games. Evil Empire likes the label so much, in fact, that it's spent the past few months organizing a new showcase with some other indie superstars, including the developers of Slay the Spire, Darkest Dungeon, Vampire Survivors, and Terraria. The Triple-I Initiative will be streaming on April 10 and will show off more than 30 games.

"We did collaborations with many indie studios [for Dead Cells]: Slay the Spire, Risk of Rain, Terraria," Evil Empire's marketing director Bérenger Dupré told me in an interview at last week's Game Developers Conference. "It was a cool experience taking those games and putting them into Dead Cells, but we were always wondering if there was a way to collaborate with our indie friends outside of games."

When Evil Empire started getting ready to announce its next game, the team thought there was an opportunity for a showcase that sat somewhere between the triple-A announcements of The Game Awards and more niche events like, say, the Wholesome Direct. A few months later, they'd managed to bring together enough indie developers to fill a 45 minute event. "Back-to-back trailers, no hosts or sponsorships, no extra fluff," Dupré said.

"[Evil Empire] were clear that they had a threshold for the type of announcement that they wanted: they wanted to deliver something really punchy and surprising, and we love surprising," said Chris Bourassa, co-founder of Darkest Dungeon developer Red Hook Studios. Bourassa said that the Red Hook team hustled to get something ready to show for the April 10th event.

Casey Yano, co-founder of Slay the Spire team Mega Crit, said they were trying to decide how to announce their next game when the Triple-I Initiative came up. "We [thought], maybe these guys need our help, and I want to make this event big. Especially after watching The Game Awards—I don't want to be super inflammatory, but games that aren't visually impressive don't really get a lot of clout ... I don't really want to be on there; I feel out of place. I want to really resonate with people who are more into core experience games."

"It's been really great working with these guys," Yano added. "It could've been kind of nonchalant, not very interesting, but it's going to be pretty hype, I think."

You can see a full list of the studios participating in the showcase below. The Triple-I Initiative will be streaming on YouTube, Twitch and other platforms on April 10 at 10 am Pacific / 5 pm GMT.

  • A44

  • Assemble Entertainment

  • Awaceb

  • Blobfish Games

  • ColePowered Games

  • Digital Sun Games

  • Drop Bear Bytes

  • Evil Empire

  • Fireshine Games

  • Focus Entertainment

  • Fumi Games

  • Gamera Games

  • Gearbox Software

  • Gearbox Publishing

  • Gentlymad Studios

  • Ghost Ship Publishing

  • Heart Machine

  • Hooded Horse

  • Humble Games

  • Ishtar Games

  • Kepler Interactive

  • Mega Crit

  • Northplay

  • Passtech Games

  • Pathea Games

  • PlaySide Studios

  • PlaySide Publishing

  • PM Studios

  • poncle

  • Quite OK Games

  • Realm Archive

  • Red Hook Studios

  • Stunlock Studios

  • The Arcade Crew

  • The Gentlebros

  • Thorium

  • Thunder Lotus

  • tinyBuild

  • Triband

  • Youthcat Studio