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Crowd funding for video games...


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#1 compl3x

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 19:42

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I'm curious to know what other gamers on here think about the crowd funding we've been seeing for video games over the last few months. As far as I understand it, crowd funding for video games is in its infancy. There are no games which have been made from crowd funding money, people have been laying their pledges down, crossing their fingers and hoping for the best. A lot of people talk about this as if it is going to be a savoir of the industry: developers can completely dodge publishers, with whom they sometimes have poor relationships with, and go straight from development to distibution with no middle man, (i.e. publishers).

It seems to me to be a pretty big ask to request people throw down their cash and hope the people who start the kickstarter account actually come through in a couple of years time with the game they've hyped.

It also seems that not having a publisher might work against developers. It seems like it would be very easy for developers to squander their crowd funding money if they have no publishers who set deadline and due-dates. If you essentially have no one to answer to and no time frame to abide by, what stops you from pi.ssing away your time and money and leaving the funders with nothing? Personally, it seems like a big gamble, especially to those who pledge extra for a free copy of a game which doesn't exist in any way, shape or form.


I'd be interested to know what others think. Admittedly, I don't know a lot about how it works between devs and publishers. If anyone works in an analogous industry and can perhaps shed some light on it, that would be cool.


#2 yxz

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 23:14

"FTL represents one of the first games to come out from this surge in crowd-funded games, and demonstrates that such funding mechanisms can support video game development."
http://en.wikipedia....ster_Than_Light

#3 Yusuf M.

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 16:03

I think it has a lot of potential. What makes crowd-funding so good is the potential for publisher-hated games to be made. I'm talking about the kind of games that publishers have no faith in like old school role-playing games or space simulators. Another thing is a closer developer-customer relationship. Crowd-funded developers don't have to answer to a publisher so they can do whatever they want to please customers. But the relationship I mentioned is one that starts with the first pledge. People are trusting that developer with their money. They're trusting them to deliver a game that they want. And the fact that they're willing to spend money on something that isn't complete might encourage developers to deliver a good game.

It's just a matter of time until we see the real effect of crowd-funding. So far, gamers are happy (as evidenced by their willingness to support games like Star Citizen, Double Fine Adventure, etc).

#4 Xilo

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 16:06

I think it should be used for indie devs only and not from big publishers like some want to do.

#5 Spartan Erik

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 16:06

Well, Star Citizen just got funded and broke the world record for crowd-funding for a video game: www.robertsspaceindustries.com

Raised nearly $6.5 million from Kickstarter and the main RSI website, that's not counting the private investors they have courted, nor the amount of personal money spent. Although the game is still 2 years out from release (probably more), I expect some pretty good results.

Been looking forward to more independent developers who aren't kept on a tight leash by publishers.. was disappointed by Battlefield 3 with the pushing of numerous DLCs, got tired of the same COD model long ago (I quit after COD4/WAW), and I'm also peeved at the devs for Diablo 3 who haven't been listening to the community at all.

#6 Yusuf M.

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 16:16

One thing I forgot to mention is that publisher deadlines and goals aren't always a good thing. Some games have been released in an arguably incomplete state just to meet a deadline. I'd rather see developers release a complete game even if that means extra development time.

I think it should be used for indie devs only and not from big publishers like some want to do.

Agreed.

Well, Star Citizen just got funded and broke the world record for crowd-funding for a video game: www.robertsspaceindustries.com

Raised nearly $6.5 million from Kickstarter and the main RSI website, that's not counting the private investors they have courted, nor the amount of personal money spent. Although the game is still 2 years out from release (probably more), I expect some pretty good results.

Been looking forward to more independent developers who aren't kept on a tight leash by publishers.. was disappointed by Battlefield 3 with the pushing of numerous DLCs, got tired of the same COD model long ago (I quit after COD4/WAW), and I'm also peeved at the devs for Diablo 3 who haven't been listening to the community at all.

Star Citizen is truly remarkable. I have high hopes for that game and I'm extremely glad that they raised so much money for it. I'm tired as well from big name publishers churning out console ports and basically milking a franchise (e.g. Call of Duty).

It's about time developers started fostering a beneficial relationship with gamers and making games that fans want.

#7 HawkMan

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 16:30

Well, Star Citizen just got funded and broke the world record for crowd-funding for a video game: www.robertsspaceindustries.com

Raised nearly $6.5 million from Kickstarter and the main RSI website, that's not counting the private investors they have courted, nor the amount of personal money spent. Although the game is still 2 years out from release (probably more), I expect some pretty good results.

Been looking forward to more independent developers who aren't kept on a tight leash by publishers.. was disappointed by Battlefield 3 with the pushing of numerous DLCs, got tired of the same COD model long ago (I quit after COD4/WAW), and I'm also peeved at the devs for Diablo 3 who haven't been listening to the community at all.


While Star Citizen broke the record, I'm thinking the reality is that the crowd funding for that game is mostly marketing, since that seems to be a very high profile AAA game, in which case 6 million "might" be 10% of the budget for that game, maybe far less.

#8 HawkMan

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 16:43

I think it should be used for indie devs only and not from big publishers like some want to do.

I think it's up to the supporters who they want to support.

Some games can only be done by big publishers. But big publishers are taking less and less risks today because of the huge costs with these games. So if I can get the best of both worlds, the quality and support of a big publisher, with interesting and maybe risky new gameplay due to crowd funding, go for it.

#9 Lord Method Man

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 16:48

I think it should be used for indie devs only and not from big publishers like some want to do.


What does it matter?

#10 Xilo

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 16:54

What does it matter?

Because 1) publishers suck. Games often suffer because they have to pretty much do what publishers want them to do. 2) they aren't lacking funds. 3) a lot of them are using it as a "well, we MIGHT bring this IP back if you guys crowd fund us enough money".

#11 LaP

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 17:00

I would so much like a sequel to Relentless (LBA) to be funded this way.

I would gladly contribute.