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Founder SpotlightBITKRAFT Founder Spotlight: New Tales

  • Gaming
  • Founders

“Content is King, Publishing is Queen”

That’s the ethos by which the founders of developer and game operator New Tales live. Industry veterans with decades of experience who have known each other for over 20 years, New Tales’ founders are not only in the business of producing unique IP but also in guiding studios who want to get their own games out into the world. Cedric Maréchal (President & CEO), Benoit Dufour (Chief Operations Officer) and Emmanuel Obert (Chief Content Officer) say it all came from their lifelong passion for games. “Gaming has always been at the heart of our lives,” notes Maréchal. “What pushed us to really think about what to do next was a heavy restructuring period at Activision Blizzard. From a difficult moment, we made an opportunity.”

Unveiling the Visionaries Behind New Tales

Cedric "Ced" Maréchal, a lifelong gamer, has been an integral part of the gaming industry since 1993. His career began in international marketing positions, evolving into senior executive roles over his 20 years at Blizzard Entertainment, where he led EMEA and International Operations. Ced has contributed to the releases of hundreds of games, including many iconic IPs. His passion for gaming is matched by his love for cooking, wine tasting, and spending quality time with his family and friends. Ced also enjoys high-mountain cycling, skiing, and playing games such as Warcraft 3, Clash Royale, and Vampire Survivors. 

Ced's Perspective on Being a Founder:
"You always start a company with an ideal vision of what you want it to be, but in reality your starting point will be far away from that vision and you will spend a lot of time closing that gap. As the locomotive of the train, you must focus on core priorities and maximize luck. When you start assembling a great team with the right mindset and everything starts to click, it is the most rewarding part."

Advice for Other Founders:
"Be clear about your reasons for starting this journey, prepare for years of intense effort, and ensure alignment with your co-founders. Recruit team members with an entrepreneurial spirit and stay true to your values. Focus on making concrete progress step by step with the right ambition and operational focus."

Benoit Dufour
Ben Dufour's career began in the brewery business in England. However, his passion for gaming, cultivated from playing on FL-10, Atari VCS, and other consoles, led him to join Vivendi and Blizzard Entertainment. Over 25 years, Ben has gained extensive experience in finance, business, BI, publishing strategy, and esports. He loves watching and doing sports with family and friends, running, playing games, and indulging in chocolates. 

Ben's Perspective on Being a Founder:
"When starting a company, you're going to be juggling numerous tasks that you won’t always enjoy, all within a limited timeframe. Yet, these tasks are essential to keeping the adventure going. However, witnessing how far New Tales has come today has been a real payoff. With 30 team members, multiple opportunities on the horizon, and several games in the pipeline, we are already exceeding what I was envisioning. One of the most rewarding moments is my family loving the New Tales logo!"

Advice for Other Founders:
"Stay positive no matter what; view challenges as opportunities. Learn to say 'No,' and don't do it alone—you need a team to support you through tough times. Focus leads to success, and it's essential to rely on your team."

Emmanuel "Manu" Obert began his career in the TTRPG industry before joining Gameloft and later Ubisoft, where he worked on games like EverQuest, Planetside, and Far Cry. At Blizzard Entertainment, Manu managed Game Master & Customer Service groups and became one of the first Regional Game Producers. He co-founded New Tales after 18 years at Blizzard, overseeing content and creative development. Manu loves tabletop RPGs, graphic novels, and fantasy books. He enjoys playing video and tabletop games, simplifying great music on his instruments, and exploring ancient ruins with his archaeologist wife.

Manu's Perspective on Being a Founder:
"At first you need to deal with a lot of administrative shenanigans that should not be underestimated… but it’s very little compared to the feeling of owning your destiny, the freedom it brings, and the excitement of crafting your future with a group of awesome people who share the same vision."

Advice for Other Founders:
"Embrace what led you to create your company, be yourself, and be kind to your people—they are your most valuable resource. Try to create your own luck as much as possible."

Overcoming Challenges as Founders

A significant challenge the New Tales founders faced was when one of their original four founders, Delphine, had to withdraw due to serious health issues. This emotional period created operational gaps that Ced, Ben, and Manu had to fill. Despite the adversity, they stuck together, with Delphine showing remarkable professionalism and resilience. This experience underscored the importance of trust and alignment among founders and the right mindset among investors and team members. It truly demonstrated that "it is in adversity that you recognize your friends."

Decision to Build Their Own Company

The founders decided to create New Tales during Activision Blizzard's heavy restructuring. They took a step back to assess their lives and the meaning of their work in the gaming industry. Financial stability allowed them to embark on this entrepreneurial journey, inspired by their past experiences and the desire to recreate the spirit of Blizzard EMEA from 2004. They saw an opportunity to build a modern game publisher, leveraging their legacy of building player communities at a global scale. New Tales positions itself as an International Game Operator and Community Development House, also developing its own studios and IPs.

Belief in Success

The announcement of New Tales generated over 300 articles worldwide, creating excitement and interest that confirmed their belief in the company's potential. Recent months of hard work have seen New Tales reaching new levels, with a growing portfolio of games and partners, boosting their motivation and capacity to scale. While they remain focused on their core priorities, they are more confident in the potential of New Tales, thanks to the positive feedback received.

Fears and Resilience

The founders' greatest fear is failing to grow and build a stable future for New Tales. They strive to meet expectations and transform their efforts into success, constantly challenging themselves to improve and innovate. Their journey emphasizes "Positive Resilience" and the importance of teamwork in protecting and evolving their vision. By leveraging past experiences and tailoring them to current realities, they seek to deliver AAA quality with a more agile organization. The founders remain humble and thankful, believing that maximizing their capabilities and remaining true to their values will help them overcome any challenges.

Unique Learnings and Vision

The founders of New Tales believe in maximizing luck through hard work and maintaining positive resilience. We believe their teamwork ensures the protection of their vision, which evolves over time. They regularly deconstruct and readapt their accumulated knowledge to serve current realities, allowing them to deliver AAA quality with agility. New Tales' core engine as an International Game Operator and Community Development House, along with creating their own studios and IPs, contributes to their resilience and ability to deliver great experiences to players worldwide. Their journey showcases the importance of staying true to values, focusing on priorities, and building strong, aligned teams for long-term success.