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Zero Point raises $125,000 through fan-funding

Crowd sourcing route pays off for Interstellar Marines developer

Zero Point Software, maker of Interstellar Marines, has so far raised $125,000 for development of the game through contributions from its fans.

The Danish developer is raising the cash through its fanbase rather than working with a publisher on a more traditional level, and is one of many independents working with games players who fund the project for a more personal gaming experience.

The project, which Zero Point labels 'AAA Indie', began in 2006 and the team had previously been in discussions with publishing partners.

"The negotiations stopped when it became clear to us that we needed to hand over all of our IP and make a lousy revenue share deal [on top of that]," Kenneth Andersen, producer and lead sound designer at Zero Point, told GamesIndustry.biz in a feature published today.

"So it was time to make a new strategy. We came up with this crazy idea that our community should be able to pre-order the game years before it was finished and we haven't regretted this decision since."

The Interstellar Marines community has over 103,000 registered members, with more than 2100 of those paying for the $39 Spearhead pre-order of three future games as well as other special privileges. Users can also buy the Frontliners pre-order for $25 and buy Support Medals for $5 which unlock content on the community website.

The full feature looking at the phenomenon of crowd sourcing, featuring contributions from Achron developer Hazard Games and Grim Dawn team Crate Entertainment, can be read here.

Latest comments (10)

Great idea, athough I'm not sure how far $125k gets a team commercially. Good luck to them, I hope its a success!
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D5 years ago
Eagle Dynamics and VRS have both used this model as well. With ED, they even allowed buyers to download beta builds as development went along, as well as using torrents to distribute, thus lowering their costs as well.

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That's the problem with publishers, they push really tough deals with many developers.
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Saehoon Lee Lead technical artist, Kuno Interactive5 years ago
Maybe future is sort of mixture of everything. Publisher + Crowd source + Self funding.
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Show all comments (10)
Sean Rogan Freelance Journalist 5 years ago
Natural Selection 2 went down this road as well:

http://www.naturalselection2.com/
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Terence Gage Freelance writer 5 years ago
I've always thought this would be a good idea for some developers - there are some who I would gladly invest in as a downpayment to help them fund forthcoming projects, and pay the balance when said game is launched. I think it's a flexible business model for developers who cannot get a publishing deal or who want to retain full control of their product, and so on.

As noted, $125,000 probably wouldn't go very far on a big development by today's standards, but I hope the company can put the money to good use and make the most of their fans' generosity. Is there actually any word on what this funding will be going toward? I've been mildly interested in Interstellar Marines ever since I first read about it about 5 years ago, but it's all been quiet on that front for a long time. I wonder if it would be suited for distribution on XBL, PSN & Steam, a la Section 8: Prejudice or Blacklight. Seems to be a good fit for high-quality FPSs that don't have the publisher or marketing to compete with the big retail releases.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Terence Gage on 18th April 2011 5:05pm

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James Gallagher Marketing Manager, Futuremark Corporation5 years ago
I remember reading a while ago that Zero Point are just four guys, so the sum they've raised should help a lot.
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Benjamin Dixon Studying Computer Games Design and Programming, Staffordshire University5 years ago
I'm in the process of setting up a small games studio with a few other students from uni and this is a route we have discussed going down but we aren't sure where to go in terms of setting this sort of thing up. Does anyone know whether it was run through a 3rd party or on their own website?
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Nicholas Gasse Journalist, communications expert 5 years ago
Benjamin - I think most of IM's funding comes from ZPS' website, where people can purchase different pre-order packages. There are third-party websites, like 8BitFunding, that you could use too.
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Benjamin Dixon Studying Computer Games Design and Programming, Staffordshire University5 years ago
Nicholas - Thank you so much for this. We tried searching for ages looking for a site like 8BitFunding but always came up short. This is definitely something for us to consider. Again, thank you.
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Mike Rusby 3d character modeller 5 years ago
silly question but what if it all goes wrong. Do the fans get the money back or will they sue over it. I wonder if they have to sign some kind of agreement?
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