Tim Schafer Says Publishers Aren’t Worried About Kickstarter


Despite hitting it big on Kickstarter, Double Fine man Tim Schafer says game publishers aren’t worried about the impact of crowdfunding on the business of making videogames.

When Tim Schafer said he needed a whole bunch of money to come up with a new point-and-click adventure game, the internet asked, “How much?” And when Tim Schafer replied that 400 large would be a good place to start, the internet gave him $2 million and told him to make five games, or make one that’s five times better than he was planning. You know, whatever.

Gamers around the world, and some developers too, threw up their arms shouted “Hallelujah!” to the dawning of a new day in which game makers would connect directly with their fans to make the games they really want to make. Finally, after years of laboring under blood-sucking middlemen and flaccid design-by-committee, everything had changed – and we were free!

Except, well, not really. Schafer himself said he’s spoken to publishers since his Kickstarter hit the big time and they’ve been respectfully polite about it and otherwise wholly unimpressed. “[Double Fine Adventure] is just one of our projects. We have four teams here. Those other teams are still out there pitching new games to publishers, and their response has always been, ‘Oh that’s great – congratulations on that. Now let’s talk about games like we always have’,” Schafer told Rock, Paper, Shotgun. “I don’t think any publishers are quaking in their boots – they’re like, ‘Oh, two million dollars, that’s cute! That’s the marketing budget for the little game I’m working on.’ It’s not a big amount of money for them. It’s a big amount of money for us though.”

Despite that cold splash of reality, Schafer acknowledged that crowdfunding does open up some exciting opportunities for indie devs on tight budgets. “Supposedly a lot of indie games have picked up a lot of funding on Kickstarter. The guy who made Pixel Sand put up a graph that showed how his funding had increased when we launched our Kickstarter,” he said. “I’d love to see it lead to more crazy and alternative ways of funding games.”

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