Fargo: Kickstarter could save middle-size devs

Interplay co-founder on the importance of the crowd funding model

Brian Fargo, Interplay co-founder, inXile head and the man who just raised $3 million on Kickstarter for a Wasteland sequel has evangelised the crowd funding platform in a recent interview.

"I saw an opportunity with Kickstarter that this could be the thing that saves the middle-size developer," Fargo told Game Informer while discussing progress on Wasteland 2.

"You've got this huge gap now. You've got the big triple-A developers, who typically have these housekeeping deals with the publishers where they'll keep feeding them these 10-30 million-dollar projects and keeping them alive. Then you've got the small little indies doing their stuff, which is great, but they're just two or three or four or five people. When I say mid-sized, I mean 15-20 people. I'm not talking about a huge company."

inXile's success with the funding platform will allow it to add extra features to the RPG, with the possible addition of mod tools and support for Mac and Linux.

"I saw [Kickstarter] as a way to save the mid-sized developer, us included, so I dropped everything and jumped on it."

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Latest comments (3)

James Prendergast Research Chemist 5 years ago
It's definitely one avenue availible to developers. I'm certainly enjoying the "cheap" games on offer through kickstarter. I guess it's probably a good indication (one more aside from Steam sales etc) that the market can support more price points than are currently being offered by the industry to the mainstream. We're not only waiting for $0.99 or $60 games...
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Unfortunately kickstarter is due for a shake-out.

Someone is going to do a study of the percentage of funded projects that eventually deliver, and the numbers will scare the crowds away. The other dire event that is waiting to happen is an IRS audit of all Kickstarter projects as the income numbers are all available with one subpoena and a large number of Kickstarter project starters are amatures who have no idea that they even have a tax obligation.
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Brian Smith Artist 5 years ago
I like to see someone do the next step... Crowd-funded projects that are released free to the world. If developers can be fully funded then there's effectively no need for them to profiteer from retailing the game. Why even should a group of individuals be allowed to personally profit from a product they've made with the funding of others. Surely it's good enough that they are kept in good employment.

Games want big audiences and what better way to get them than to be free to download completely by anyone. This could lead games achieving huge audiences far beyond what only the best currently enjoy. Huge player bases could lead to crowd-funding pulling in 10's of millions for future titles that the public actually want. Let the games themselves be the advertisements for future investments in their developers.

Not going quite so far, single player could become the demo of the future. Allow players to play all your game. Only sell the multi-play pass, and include it to all backers for free.
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