Game-specific Kickstarter alternative to launch at E3

Gambitious to operate on system of shares and dividends

A new, game-specific alternative to Kickstarter is due to launch at this year's E3, coming from Dutch company Gambitious.

The scheme will allow investors to buy shares in game projects, which will translate to paid dividends if the game makes it to market and sees commercial success. The platform will launch in Europe, but the company hopes to spread internationally once some legal barriers are breached.

CEO Korstiaan Zandvliet announced the date of the launch during his keynote today at the Dutch Festival of Games.

"The main difference between Gambitious and the currently popular Kickstarter is that the former does not rely on donations," said Zandvliet.

"Instead, a developer decides what percentage of the required funding people can buy. Someone who invests money in a project, becomes a shareholder and is entitled to dividends."

Kickstarter has become a popular destination for developers looking to raise funds, with several old hands, such as Tim Shafer and Brian Fargo, exceeding targets for their projects well ahead of schedule.

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Latest comments (15)

Eric Flynn Content Director, ISOTX10 years ago
What is the advantage of using Gambitious over Kickstarter? It seems like it has more long term costs/commitments for the developer than collecting cash and fulfilling some one-time (seemingly very customizable per project) commitments that come with Kickstarter.
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Jess Kappeler Senior Game Designer, Pipeworks Studio10 years ago
@Eric Flynn

It's unclear, but my guess would be that since Gambitious is not based on donations, if the company or project goes under the contributors do not get their money back. Sounds a little more like a traditional publisher model. More risk and more reward for the investors.

Also, I don't see any downside in using both services to get the funding you need.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jess Kappeler on 20th April 2012 4:55pm

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Tim Carter Designer - Writer - Producer 10 years ago
What they're doing is called public investment. It's traditionally handled by the stock market.

The legal hurdles they'll need to overcome will be huge.

What's more, the entire weight of the stock trading community will likely come down against them, as this will threaten their livelihood.

They better be young people, with a lot of energy and belief in what they are doing. And they better have some expert advisors - like hopefully actual lawyers and accountants on their board. Because they'll be in for a fight, big time.

But this said, I hope this is a success. The stock market insiders make their money from gaming the system more than from bringing valid innovative ideas to the public market. Stock markets were regulated to help protect the public against insider fraud (classic schemes like "pump and dump"). In the age of the Internet, however - when it's easy for people in the public to gain intelligence on whether a publically-offered venture is for-real or a scam - I would say the stock market regulations are less relevant.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Tim Carter on 20th April 2012 5:59pm

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Show all comments (15)
Tim Carter Designer - Writer - Producer 10 years ago
Kickstarter versus Gambitious?

If you give money to a project via Kickstarter, you do just that: you *give* money. There may be rewards, but in essence you're giving charity.

In Gambitoius, you *invest* money. If the project becomes a huge seller, you will earn money.
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game10 years ago
Also, I believe only projects based in the US can use Kickstarter, this is launched in Europe. I believe indie goto offers a similar service to Kickstarter, and can be used in Europe, but isn't all or nothing, but I think Kickstarters all or nothing aproach is sensible.
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Pier Castonguay Programmer 10 years ago

Well... that's ambitious.
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From what I understand, they're already three years hard at work to make sure there's an infalible legal framework to work with. They already have clearance from the Dutch Central Bank and they've been assured that what they're doing is well within the bounds of the law. Nonetheless, I agree that there will be a fight, but it might not be that different for them, they've been fighting for three years already.
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Giuseppe De Francesco Owner, DFT Games10 years ago
Well... solliciting private investment via public media is reserved to the public limited compani in EU: it is a crime to do so in any different way. Such a service would be a Games Stock Market alternative to the official SM... they won't get any green light to do that, it'll be in breach of a dozen of EU Directives, not counting the country specific laws.

Mark my word: they won't open, not as presented. If they go live they will operate just like Kickstarter.
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Sergio Rosa10 years ago
With so many big guys getting their games into Kickstarter, most will just ignore other services. For good or ill, Kickstarter is becoming the "de facto" crowdfunding service, and yet they don't give a damn about foreign developers with their "US-only" politics.

Unfortunately, most people will only pledge on Kickstarter just like a lot of gamers will buy games only on Steam.
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 10 years ago
"Unfortunately, most people will only pledge on Kickstarter just like a lot of gamers will buy games only on Steam."

Yeah. But then, this is what happens when you're first-on-scene, and build a reputation quickly. Oh, I know there's been some bad press in the past for Kickstarter, but your analogy with Steam is a good one - people weren't really paying attention to it in the past, and now they are, it's working pretty well.
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Peter Kirsch Senior Consultant, Attaction10 years ago
FYI - The guys already had a platform started last year named "Symbid". That thing already included game ideas. If you check out the current symbid site you'll get an idea of what Gambitious could be like.
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They're launching on March 2012, they're past one month already.

I'd say that's.... *puts on shades*


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"Oh, I know there's been some bad press in the past for Kickstarter, but your analogy with Steam is a good one - people weren't really paying attention to it in the past, and now they are, it's working pretty well."

Steam pretty much didn't have a competitor when they entered the market though, I'd say the same goes for Kickstarter. If they did have a competitor at the start, it wasn't making a lot of noise.

Regardleess, its only if they offered anything drastically different from their competition.

Back then MySpace was king, then Facebook came, but Facebook didn't copy the previous social networks' ideas. They invented the Facebook wall concept. And now Facebook is on the top.

Google+ came along, didn't offer anything too different, and so hasn't managed to topple of Facebook.

Google+ only built new concepts on top of Facebook, but contrast with how Facebook treated its predecessors, Facebook threw away almost all ideas in MySpace's designs and replaced it with their own.

I could go on with more esoteric analogies like with CVS, SVN, and Git, but I'll stop rambling now.
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Tim Hull Co-Founder, Stuntpigs Ltd.10 years ago
I'll be very interested to see how this turns out. I've been hoping for a more game centric crowd/public funding vehicle.

Yet my interest is not only with gaining the funds but also having a integrated method for pushing gamer ideas/votes. Kickstarter/UserVoice but properly inegrated not just bolt on.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 10 years ago
I dunno, but getting random speculators involved in throwing money into hoping a project turns into a gold mine for them seems like a really bad idea. At least with Kickstarter, passion drives the funding of projects, not "HEY, YOU CAN MAKE SOME MUNEEEE WHEN WE SELL A LOT OF THIS GAME!"

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