Wasteland 2 Mastermind Won't Quit Kickstarter

Wasteland 2 Mastermind Won't Quit Kickstarter

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Brian Fargo says that no matter how Wasteland 2 fares when it finally launches, he'll continue to use crowdfunding to support his future projects.

Brian Fargo and inXile Entertainment made a pretty big splash on Kickstarter earlier this year, vacuuming nearly $3 million out of the pockets of gamers desperate for some old-time post-apocalyptic role-playing. All fingers are crossed that Wasteland 2 will be as good as fans dream and a huge success for all involved, but even if it is and Fargo makes truckloads of money from it, he says he'll still take advantage of crowdfunding in the future.

"It allows us to give things to people that they can't get from just buying a product. Some people want to be an NPC, or they want a shrine in their honour in the game, or they want a boxed copy, or a novella. These things aren't just gimmicks; they add real value," he told GamesIndustry. "It's also a great way of vetting the product in general. I like having that communication, because when people put their money down they're more invested emotionally. And when you have this army of people who are a part of it, when you do launch you don't need a big marketing campaign."

And while some might look a wee bit askance at the idea of asking for financial assistance when it's not actually necessary, Fargo said there's more to it than just money. "Even if [Wasteland 2] sells a bunch and it could finance [another game], I'd like to keep that same relationship," he said. "Let's assume that I'm gonna deliver the game, so my backers are going to get whatever they were gonna buy anyway. If I pitch a new idea to my Kickstarter fans and nobody wants to fund it, I'm glad I didn't make it. It builds on itself... Ultimately, it helps me that I'm spending time and effort on something that people actually want. I can't see any harm in that because I'm giving people what they want at the end of the day."

Source: GamesIndustry

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Somehow I doubt he'd need Kickstarter for his next project if Wasteland 2 is a success. inXile could just organize the crowd-funding of their next game on their own site. They'd have garnered enough popularity for that I'd think.

Fappy:
Somehow I doubt he'd need Kickstarter for his next project if Wasteland 2 is a success.

I think it's more that Kickstarter needs his next project.

its seriously opened up the market to medium budget games thats for sure. good on him for not wanting to go back to the publisher model

Well I can't say his idea could fail with his momentum but I would really rather he sticks to the current project before getting swept up by the next idea, they still got quite a bit of green hanging in the unknown right now.

Andy Chalk:
And while some might look a wee bit askance at the idea of asking for financial assistance when it's not actually necessary, Fargo said there's more to it than just money. "Even if [Wasteland 2] sells a bunch and it could finance [another game], I'd like to keep that same relationship," he said. "Let's assume that I'm gonna deliver the game, so my backers are going to get whatever they were gonna buy anyway. If I pitch a new idea to my Kickstarter fans and nobody wants to fund it, I'm glad I didn't make it. It builds on itself... Ultimately, it helps me that I'm spending time and effort on something that people actually want. I can't see any harm in that because I'm giving people what they want at the end of the day."

That makes sense. Why waste time and money on an idea that may not pay itself off. While he may not need the funds if Wasteland 2 does well, its still a good way to gauge just how much interest gamers have on a project.

The man has a point.

Player interest of an idea is probably one of the most important pieces of pre-development information, and if kickstarter can provide it, I'm all for it. It's not like you put your money down for nothing, after all. You can get the game cheaper than the initial asking price, and all those other little extras. I think of it as extended pre-order bonuses, with variable levels of support...
well, at least concerning those devs we can trust to actually finish the job, there is that minor detail.

lancar:
well, at least concerning those devs we can trust to actually finish the job, there is that minor detail.

Absolutely. I mean, Fargo isn't wrong about the ways you could use Kickstarter as a more direct tool of communication with your potential audience, but he's in a unique position because his reputation engenders a great deal of trust within the community. Double Fine, Obsidian Entertainment and possibly the Coles (if this works out) might be able to use the system in similar ways if they pursue further Kickstarter projects, but I don't think it's something that would work as a long-term strategy for every developer.

Fappy:
Somehow I doubt he'd need Kickstarter for his next project if Wasteland 2 is a success. inXile could just organize the crowd-funding of their next game on their own site. They'd have garnered enough popularity for that I'd think.

Yeah, I've been thinking the same thing about Obsidian. It seems unnecessary that the fans keep on paying Kickstarter a cut after the developer and its fans have already come to a consensus about the demand for the game.

Sure, it could be a good idea to poll people for interest before they start collecting money, but it definitely seems like a good idea to have all the money going straight into the project next time around.

I think this is a smart idea, with a crowdfunded game you know in advance there is a market there rather than having to hope your game hits the necessary demographic once its launched. IMO it makes good business sense.

Well obviously he would keep going back to kickstarter. Its an amazing way for developers to rip off idiots without them knowing. On top of that its interest free money and advertising.

Better than to have your creativity limited by the publishers. Some publishers I like though. Like Square Enix and heck, even Ubisoft.

Fappy:
Somehow I doubt he'd need Kickstarter for his next project if Wasteland 2 is a success. inXile could just organize the crowd-funding of their next game on their own site. They'd have garnered enough popularity for that I'd think.

Pffft. Without the Kickstarter "brand" on it? I mean, how would people even figure out how to donate?

Little Gray:
Well obviously he would keep going back to kickstarter. Its an amazing way for developers to rip off idiots without them knowing. On top of that its interest free money and advertising.

The only people who get ripped off are the people who aren't clever enough to be able to evaluate what they're actually pledging money to. If you're the sort of person who takes time to look over the project before actually donating, then your probably going to be safe. Plus, I'm pretty sure there are safeguards in place to stop the developers from running off with your money, not that you're likely to have invested that much anyway. I don't see all that much difference between funding a game and pre-ordering; you get similar levels of information about the end product from both.

Let's see the game first. It better not just be fallout all over again.. Mechanics should go much deeper than that.

I'm one of the game's backers (admittedly on a small scale), and I kind of appreciate that developers like Fargo are recognizing the benefits of Kickstarter and similar programs not only in raising revenue, but gauging community interest and getting feedback. When so many of the big publishers seem to view forums and the like as either free publicity, something to ignore, or, worse, an early warning that people are making use of their precious property that they don't approve of- it's nice to see places where the creator-audience relationship seems more open and giving.

And along those lines: when, not if, EA or Activision decide to try this path on for size- remember to slam the door in their f@#%ing faces.

Basically, he's talking about changing the model of the game industry.

Instead of making a game and marketing it to an audience, the gaming community commissions him to make a game, paying his fee up-front. Artists do the same thing, where people pay them to make a painting or a sculpture or something beforehand.

It's smart and it's reasonable.

JediMB:

Fappy:
Somehow I doubt he'd need Kickstarter for his next project if Wasteland 2 is a success. inXile could just organize the crowd-funding of their next game on their own site. They'd have garnered enough popularity for that I'd think.

Yeah, I've been thinking the same thing about Obsidian. It seems unnecessary that the fans keep on paying Kickstarter a cut after the developer and its fans have already come to a consensus about the demand for the game.

Sure, it could be a good idea to poll people for interest before they start collecting money, but it definitely seems like a good idea to have all the money going straight into the project next time around.

All good points but remember that there is significant expense in having the infrastructure, administration and legal expertise to handle mass financial transactions like crowd funding. It hurts to see that slice of the cash pie go the money handler but it may very well be cheaper than building and maintaining such a system yourself.

Then there is the added bonus of keeping the community centralized on Kickstarter rather than split up between a bunch of different hosts. "A house divided" and all that. If we are going to fight back against the big publishing houses and their vile customer abuse, we need to stick together. Staying on Kickstarter also means being able to capitalize on their still growing base of trust and success.

 

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