In the wake of THQ's demise, Deep Silver proved it has serious financial clout, using some of that Koch Media green to get its hands on Metro: Last Light and the Saints Row series. It's looking set to become a major player, and has come out fighting -- claiming to be better than other publishers.
"We're a small, guerilla tactics company," COO Geoff Mulligan told Game Informer. "People say, 'Oh, you acquired Volition and Metro, you're going to be a triple-A publisher. What separates us from a triple-A publisher is that I don't really have a desire to be a triple-A publisher.
"I actually think we're much better than the Activisions, EAs, and Ubisofts of the world. People say, 'What do you mean? They are valued at three billion dollars.' I say the difference is that we make money."
While his last statement was in jest, Mulligan believes Deep Silver's wise financial behavior is what sets it apart. Even with some big titles under its belt, the company's not about to outgrow its means and take part in the decadent splurging that's infested the rest of the mainstream industry.
"Now, with the acquisition of Metro and Saints Row, it allows us to, again, go from strength to strength. But do I want to hire 500 people and build a world headquarters? That's not what we do -- nor is it what we need to do.
"I firmly believe that you do not need a giant organization anymore. That's what's killing so many publishers. The moment you don't have a giant, triple-A hit, your overhead absolutely eats you alive. What do you do if this big, triple-A game didn't hit? You've got to ship another one very quickly and hope that one does."
Mulligan views Deep Silver as a fast-moving company, unbridled by a public board of directors. The kind of company that can flourish while larger, less mutable corporations buckle under the weight of their own pressure. It certainly seems to be working, especially with Deep Silver going from, "that company that does Dead Island" to rapidly powerful industry name.
Companies like this may well be the ones to replace the EAs and Activisions when they finally collapse to their worn-out knees.