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Jaffe, Avellone ponder crowd-sourced funding

Developers react to success of Double Fine Kickstarter campaign

Twisted Metal developer David Jaffe and Obsidian Entertainment's Chris Avellone are both considering emulating Double Fine's successful Kickstarter campaign.

The Double Fine campaign was launched by company founder Tim Schafer in an effort to crowd-source $400,000 in funding for a point-and-click adventure game.

At the time of writing, the total raised is nearly $1.7 million, with 29 days left until the campaign closes.

"I think the real question, whether in the next month, if [Double Fine's campaign] hits $2 million or $8 million, does that signal a new way of funding games?" Jaffe said to Gamasutra.

"Or is this kind of a one-off thing, because it was led by [Double Fine head] Tim Schafer? Is this actually moving the needle? That, we don't know."

Jaffe will leave his studio Eat Sleep Play when Twisted Metal ships later this month, and though he insists that his new company is at least 6 months from being fully operational, he would consider crowd-sourced funding.

"Now, with what's happened with Tim's Kickstarter, sure, I would consider [crowdfunding]. There's kind of the fear that this would suddenly become, you know, a dick-measuring contest. Schafer comes out and raises a million, and Jaffe only raises $200,000."

"But joking aside... I think I would be really nervous because suddenly now it's not just a publisher's money. Suddenly you have all these peoples' money, and you don't want to let them down."

Avellone was also full of praise for Schafer's initiative, posting a string of tweets that calling Double Fine's achievement "nuts" and "amazing."

"Whole new business model, here we come!" he wrote. "I admit, I've got Kickstarter fever now. I feel like a bunch of doors suddenly appeared in game development."

Obsidian subsequently started a thread on its forums asking the community to suggest project ideas that they would contribute money towards.

"All of Double Fine's success from Kickstarter has been inspiring," the post reads. "The idea of player-supported funding is... well, it's proof certain genres aren't dead and sequels may have more legs than they seem. And the idea of not having to argue that with a publisher is appealing."

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Matthew Handrahan avatar
Matthew Handrahan: Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.
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