YouTuber Dunkey's controversial publishing label lands its first game

Animal Well
(Image credit: Shared Memory)

YouTuber Dunkey's divisive publishing label has landed its very first game.

Back in September, popular video game YouTuber Jason Yevgeniy Gastrow, better known as Dunkey, announced he was launching a new publishing company Bigmode to support "the very best games out there." 

In a YouTube video (opens in new tab) announcing Bigmode, Gastrow said, "I understand what kind of ideas always work, what ideas never work, what kind of ideas are fresh or need to come back, and what is extremely played out." However, his decision was met with a fair share of criticism due to his pledge to only publish great indie games despite having no prior experience in the industry.

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In his best of 2022 video (opens in new tab), the content creator has revealed Bigmode's first project will be Animal Well, an atmospheric Metroidvania first announced for PC and PS5 almost a year ago. If you're unaware of the game, it's the work of solo developer Billy Basso, aka Shared Memory, and puts a firm focus on non-linear exploration.

"Explore a dense, interconnected labyrinth, and unravel its many secrets. Collect items to manipulate your environment in surprising and meaningful ways. Encounter creatures both beautiful and unsettling, as you attempt to survive what lurks in the dark," reads the game's Steam page. There's seemingly a lot to unearth in this beautifully gloomy, pixaleted world as the game also promises "tons of secrets" and hidden puzzles that players "will be discovering for years."

No release date has been set, so we could be in for a bit of a wait to see whether or not Bigmode's first publishing venture turns out to be a success. Check out Animal Well in action in the video below, and if it tickles your fancy, you can wishlist it on Steam (opens in new tab).

Dunkey made headlines back in November last year when he posted a negative review of Sonic Frontiers leading viewers to review bomb the blue blur's latest adventure on Metacritic. The YouTuber responded by saying that this was not his intention and claimed that it was actually Sonic fans who were leaving negative reviews to make his fans look bad.

See what gaming delights this year has to offer in our guide to new games 2023.

Anne-Marie Ostler
Freelance Writer

Originally from Ireland, I moved to the UK in 2014 to pursue a Games Journalism and PR degree at Staffordshire University. Following that, I've freelanced for GamesMaster, Games TM, Official PlayStation Magazine and, more recently, Play and GamesRadar+. My love of gaming sprang from successfully defeating that first Goomba in Super Mario Bros on the NES. These days, PlayStation is my jam. When not gaming or writing, I can usually be found scouring the internet for anything Tomb Raider related to add to my out of control memorabilia collection.