How Kickstarter Will Change the World

How Kickstarter Will Change the World

Or at least shake up how we think about videogame publishing.

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Anything that helps a developer not have to get tied to a publisher (particularly a pushy one who will give the dev unreasonable demands and deadlines) is a great thing in my book.

Saw this on the Dark Souls forum about porting it to PC.
http://forums.namcobandaigames.eu/showthread.php?t=97595
Essentially the same idea. I for one would be happy to put money up front for my favourite games to be ported to PC.
I for one am just more interested to see how the big publishers try to demonise this idea and try to convince us how they are still relevant. Should be good for a laugh.
I am looking forward to these big publishers foaming at the mouths to get their hands on these successful IPs that the developers did not have to sign away just for a payday.

Anything that gets the content out that would have been labeled as "unique but not a seller" by the big publishers is a plus for me. I like this kickstarter model, I hope to hear of more games getting started this way.

Well said, but I am not as optimistic. This does not seem sustainable to me, as it runs entirely on hype, reputation, and nostalgia. Sure we could throw money at Beyond Good and Evil 2, System Shock 3, or anything else, but it does not guarantee it will be any good. Eventually one will flop, and I am afraid it will harm the entire concept of kickstarting games.

The Kickstarter thing was obviously not Notch's idea. There's no way they could have put it all together in the time between Notch starting to talk to Tim Schafer and the reveal of the Kickstarter. Did you see the effort that went into that project video?

I bet that several large publishers just threw their hats down in rage, yelling "THIS ISN'T FAIR!!! THEY NEED TO GO THROUGH US FIRST!!!" or something like that.

Anyway, I think that although this method of selling games DOES have huge potential, it's also kinda risky and not the best way to go about ALL game products. It will be interesting to see how this develops.

Fr]anc[is:
Well said, but I am not as optimistic. This does not seem sustainable to me, as it runs entirely on hype, reputation, and nostalgia. Sure we could throw money at Beyond Good and Evil 2, System Shock 3, or anything else, but it does not guarantee it will be any good. Eventually one will flop, and I am afraid it will harm the entire concept of kickstarting games.

I can see where you are coming from but why not give it a try first? I myself threw some money at Tim Schafer for his "Double Fine Adventure" project on Kickstarter. I am treating it like a donation because that is what it is. I am writing off that money as of now. Might I get something cool? Yes. Do I hope I do? YES. Am I ready for it to not pan out? Yep. As long as we keep that attitude I don't see a down side.

Plus there is the added bonus of helping people who made things we loved. That feeling is priceless.

I was wondering when the interesting analyses of this weird new thing would pop up on the web, and the Escapist didn't disappoint. I think I'm off to write my own.

Fr]anc[is:
Well said, but I am not as optimistic. This does not seem sustainable to me, as it runs entirely on hype, reputation, and nostalgia.

You speak as if the industry ran on something other than those nowadays.

I think that given a real threat to thier buisness, some publishers might use Kickstarter to fund new IP's and sequels.

The process would effectively see them demoted to super-developers, but when you look at it that way, a game made on a Kickstarter funding is going to break a profit much easier.

The Random One:

Fr]anc[is:
Well said, but I am not as optimistic. This does not seem sustainable to me, as it runs entirely on hype, reputation, and nostalgia.

You speak as if the industry ran on something other than those nowadays.

Do you have any game from before the dominion of the First Person Shooter that never got a sequel but you wish it did?

Or a cult classic game from any era that just did not take off despite its many virtues and few flaws?

Imagine if the opportunity to fund a sequel to that game appeared on Kickstarter, what would you do?

I've been speculating about this posibility for a while now (Actually ever since the whole "Minecraft documentary" and the Fiasco involving this site we shall not name).

Crowd-sourcing will be an important part of of upping the scale of indie developments to compete with bigger games/ creating products that would not exist otherwise. To be honest i don't think i purely crowdsourced future is a feasible one BUT i can see developers using their good reputation to request fans to pitch in a little to help with creator-driven projects.

As long as both parties manage their expectations (and things actually happen) then i can see this becoming a big way to raise partial funding for projects outside of publisher domination. The hardest part of getting a game of the ground is getting enough seed-money without horrible horrible strings attached.

Just to put it out there: while Minecraft is certainly the most obvious and probably most successful example of community funded game development, it is hardly the first. Just from memory, I can say that Mount & Blade was developed that way, though unlike Mojang, Taleworlds did eventually take on a publisher(although Paradox is hardly Evil Empire material).

Seeing as it's over a million in a little over a day? Yeah, I'd say this is changing things. Especially for the small but popular guys.

The publisher model will of course disappear eventually. Just like digital distribution and things like iTunes and Amazon digital basically allows anyone to publish music. I look forward to the days when we don't have Ubisoft/Activision/EA pushing us all around, stagnating the industry. It's the wave of the future and most of the publishers will be swallowed up by it. You see how they do things, even when they offer a digital service. They offer us there goods online, but then don't care what the consumer thinks. They think we should just be happy they are releasing a game that a lot of gamers just don't want. But, that is why you have things like SOPA and PIPA coming along. They are threatened by the open sourcing the internet offers. It scares them because it's bigger than they can ever be.

To those saying it's only viable for the well known names like Schaffer, have a look through this. All sorts of projects have been funded through Kickstarter already. Ranging from $450 to over $20, 000. Obviously new developers won't raise $1, 000, 000 in less than two days, but raising enough to start your game is nowhere near inachievable.

The only point I disagree with in the article is that this was Notch's idea. They already had a video for it, and Schaffer has been lamenting on Twitter that the offer to fund Psychonauts 2 came at the worst possible time. I'm perhaps not as optimistic as Tito, but I think more and more devs and even small studios may soon realise the potential of crowd-funded games.

Greg Tito:

They have told us time and again that we don't want originality and innovation, no no no, you want to shoot Nazis in WW2, again.

The attitude that shooting Nazis and WW2 itself is mutually exclusive to innovation is exactly the kind of thing that stops companies from trying to prove you wrong. I've said it a thousand times and I'll say it again:

The Second World War provides a backdrop for more variety, innovation, and engaging gameplay than all other wars combined.

The fact most WW2 games have not realised this yet isn't a problem with the setting; merely the narrow focus the developers choose to see it through i.e. storming Omaha beach -again-

Besides, the WW2 argument is stale. Modern and space marine shooters have long since overtaken WW2 as the genre fatigue whipping horse of the First Person Shooter.

If anything, it's about time we brought WW2 back. Only this time maybe... you know... focussing on someone other than the US for once.

I've seen tons of these good game concepts on the funding websites, most of the them do not get a dime. The difference between them and Notch and Tim Tim Schafer are proven developers. Raising money on these websites can lead to more problems then they solve(The Escapist learned that the hard way.)

Yeah, you guys might be right that it wasn't Notch's input that made the Double Fine Adventure go out like it did. Kickstarter pages don't take long to set up, but that video would have needed some man hours.

That being said, the idea certainly has been percolating for a while that we can vote for the things we want with our money before they are even made.

Greg

 

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