Surgent Studios’ creator Abubakar Salim is incredibly passionate about his upcoming game, Tales Of Kenzera: Zau. That was completely obvious to anyone who saw Salim talking about the game at this year’s Game Awards, and that passion was definitely infectious. That’s why it’s so surprising to learn that Salim struggled to get this title published.

In an interview with Kotaku, Salim detailed the process of bringing Tales Of Kenzera: Zau to life, and it seems one of the hardest elements was finding a publisher who’d sign off on the idea. Salim says that many studios claimed to be on-board with the idea, but not a single one reached out after his pitch for Tales Of Kenzera: Zau. That is, until EA heard what Salim was trying to do.

I was pitching at the time when all these studios were all like, “Hey, we wanna give Black devs a chance.” Not a single one got back to me…I remember thinking to myself, “Huh, okay, you are looking for that perfect lightning in a bottle game, which is impossible to capture.” And those barriers are still there, even though you are advertising this as “we are gonna give Black people a chance.”

[Surgent Studios’ creator Abubakar Salim]

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