Designers consider crowdfunded publishing

Following Tim Schafer’s enormously successful Kickstarter campaign, designers wonder if crowd-sourced funding is viable to video game development in their future.

David Jaffe of Twisted Metal and God of War, and Chris Avellone of Fallout: New Vegas and Baldur’s Gate are among those impressed designers wondering what new avenues this could open for them.

“I think the real question, whether in the next month, if [Double Fine’s campaign] hits $2 million or $8 million, does that signal a new way of funding games? Or is this kind of a one-off thing, because it was led by [Double Fine head] Tim Schafer? Is this actually moving the needle? That, we don’t know,” says Jaffe to Gamasutra. “Now, with what’s happened with Tim’s Kickstarter, sure, I would consider [crowdfunding].”

Avellone followed up on the successful Kickstarter campaign for Schafer’s point-and-click adventure, remarking on how impressed he is with the campaigns results.

Now Avellone is asking the online gaming community for ideas for an RPG in case his company Obsidian wants to throw up it’s own Kickstarter.

“The idea of player-supported funding is… well, it’s proof certain genres aren’t dead and sequels may have more legs than they seem,” typed Avellone in the Obsidian forum, “And the idea of not having to argue that with a publisher is appealing.”

The idea of crowdfunding wrestles the power away from publishers as sources of capital for projects and puts it directly into developers hands. This allows developers more freedom to experiment with their intellectual properties and to take more chances in this creative medium. It also allows gamers more freedom to back the projects they want to see.


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Author: Khristopher Reardon View all posts by
Khristopher is a well-to-do journalist with a video game addiction and a knack for writing. He's been playing video games for over two decades and gets a little bit itchy whenever he sees something new which tickles his fancy.