GitHub co-founder starts new indie games publisher, Null Games

by on February 1, 2023

GitHub co-founder Chris Wanstrath has announced that he’s formed Null Games, a new “developer forward” indie game publisher, along with its first game, which will be Tape to Tape, a “simcade hockey roguelite from Canadian developer Excellent Rectangle”.

That first game will launch in 2023, and “tasks players with taking charge of a ragtag group of hockey players in a roguelite journey to the major leagues. Combining modern precision with fast-paced 90s-inspired action, Tape to Tape features a unique battle system in the form of a balanced simcade hockey experience. Hire future superstars, wield and upgrade puck-crushing equipment courtesy of the mighty Blademaster, and set out on the frigid path to victory”.

You can see Wanstrath’s full statement on the launch of Null Games, below:

Null is part of a new wave of indie game publishers that put developers first.

So many of us grew up exploring amazing digital worlds. But as we got older, we learned that the games industry isn’t always fun. The creative people directly responsible for making a great game are often treated the worst. In the world of indie games, the publishers have all the power and they know it. Contracts are often one sided, as is the risk.

We think there’s a better way.

When I co-founded GitHub in 2007, the story wasn’t so different. App and web developers were treated as disposable. The tools they used weren’t always built for them. But GitHub and companies like Heroku changed that by focusing exclusively on the developer experience. Today, app and web developers have fantastic tools and much better working conditions than they did even a decade ago.

Null is just one publisher. We can’t change the industry. But we’re part of a growing movement that can. By partnering with developers and giving them great terms, we want to help them make better games in a more sustainable manner. Because at the end of the day, this is really all about the games. We’ve seen what the developer-unfriendly, crunch culture produces. It’s time to see what happens when you treat developers and gamers with respect.

Wanstrath co-founded GitHub in 2007 along with P. J. Hyett, Tom Preston-Werner, and Scott Chacon, and he was the company CEO until Microsoft acquired the software development platform in 2018. It’ll be interesting to see how the publisher does, and we’ll certainly be keeping an eye on Tape to Tape.

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