Life is Strange creator Dontnod Entertainment has not collaborated at all with Deck Nine on the latter's upcoming prequel series Before the Storm. Writer Zak Garriss revealed the detail during an interview with IBTimes UK at Gamescom 2017.
Since its surprise announcement at E3, many fans will have assumed that even if Dontnod was not developing the series set three years before its critically acclaimed first season, it would at least be on board in an advisory capacity.
Apparently not. "So from the beginning, Dontnod hasn't collaborated with us, we haven't collaborated with them," Garriss told us.
Instead, Deck Nine, the US studio behind the three-episode season, has collaborated with the team at publisher Square Enix that assisted Dontnod during the first season in 2015.
"From concept through full production it's been the team at Deck Nine working with the core team at Square that worked on the first game," he said. "What Square wanted, in a partner on this, was they wanted the dev studio that they were gonna work with [and] if they chose to move forward, to have full creative control."
Life is Strange is an episodic drama in which players make decisions that impact relationships between characters and influence the events of the story. Before the Storm tells the story of Chloe Price long before we meet her in season one, when she first meets Rachel Amber.
The pair's relationship was crucial to the first game, but left largely unexplored, offering Deck Nine an avenue to explore for the new series.
We asked Garriss about the level of freedom Deck Nine was afforded in telling its story.
"The challenge from [Square] was 'Show us that you understand what Life is Strange is and can be and then tell us the story you would tell within this world,' and I think that was the impetus behind the project, and that's really driven what Before the Storm has become through development.
"We deliberately set it far enough back that this isn't the story of Rachel Amber's disappearance. This isn't that story. This isn't the story of what happens right before [season one protagonist] Max comes back to town.
"This is a separate story about Chloe meeting Rachel, so even the most die-hard fans from the first game, they're not going to know how Before the Storm is gonna end. You're gonna be confronted with certain moral choices that will be challenging and difficult. There's consequences, it's gonna be hard to foresee."
Dontnod certainly aren't done with Life is Strange. A second season was announced earlier this year, but currently there is no release date for the new episodes.
Before the Storm's first episode will be released on 31 August on PS4, Xbox One and PC.