Developers of hot indie titles like Braid and World of Goo have created a fund to help up-and-coming indie game developers.
The Indie Fund is the brain child of several successful independent developers like Jonathan Blow (Braid), Matthew Wegner (Off-Road Velociraptor Safari). The fund's goal, as stated on its official site, is to give financial support to independent developers. The ideal end-goal is helping an indie developer get on their feet and stay financially stable and able to continue making games under their own power. Developers are already receiving money from the fund, and they are in the process of finding more fund recipients.
In addition to Blow and Wegner, Ron Carmel and Ty Gabel (World of Goo), Kellee Santiago (Flower's) Nathan Vella (Critter Crunch), and Aaron Isaksen (Armadillo Gold Rush are also contributors.
While the fund will give indie developers access to more capital to complete their games, it will leave distribution in their hands. "Developers have full control over their design, IP, publishing rights, etc. We collectively have a lot of experience in making high quality profitable indie games, so we will give our (hopefully) valuable feedback and advice on both design and business. But in the end, it's up to the developer to make the final call on everything," World of Goo designer and fund backer Ron Carmel said.
If a game does well, the game's creator is expected to contribute to the fund for a bit, but if not, the developer doesn't have to worry. "If a game never gets released or doesn't earn back the investment amount, well, we kiss that money goodbye," Carmel said. "We're not interested in owning or managing IP and we don't want to manage any kind of debt collection. We hope that the games that do well will more than make up for those that don't." Carmel will be giving a talk at the Game Developers Conference about indie development where he will give more information on the fund.
Indie developers are often a source of new and creative ideas in the industry, so this is great news for those hoping to get their games to a wider audience. Here's hoping they can help bring about a new generation of successful indie games.