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Double Fine Crowdsourcing

A Kickstarter campaign to fund development of a new adventure game from Double Fine has immediately taken off, following recent indications from Minecraft creator Notch that he was willing to help fund Psychonauts 2, though the Psychonauts IP is not mentioned by name. This has already raised considerably more than its $400K target, with a single $10K spot sold out, seven out of ten $5K pledges sold, and more than a half-million dollars already in the budget. Here's a explanation:

Keeping the scale of the project this small accomplishes two things. First and foremost, Double Fine gets to make the game they want to make, promote it in whatever manner they deem appropriate, and release the finished product on their own terms. Secondly, since they’re only accountable to themselves, there’s an unprecedented opportunity to show the public what game development of this caliber looks like from the inside. Not the sanitized commercials-posing-as-interviews that marketing teams only value for their ability to boost sales, but an honest, in-depth insight into a modern art form that will both entertain and educate gamers and non-gamers alike.

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21. Re: Double Fine Crowdsourcing Feb 9, 2012, 16:19 ASeven
Obviously this new business model has a lot of flaws. This is a business model based on human goodwill and my cynicism said and still says this will fail miserably, however Kickstarter and other crowdsourcing projects have survived the early huge bumps so maybe this model will last. And as with crowdsourcing models, or even paid alphas or indies asking for money for pre-orders, you are investing on an unknown, you do not know if the investment will pay off (game getting released) or not. Obviously having a great reputation like Tim helps tremendously but in the end all crowdsourcing projects have the same huge flaw, the project designer might just nab the money and run off and we get burned.

But it is a new model and will have teething problems. There are other models, most of them born from the indie community like the way so many bundles are being released and being successful. These models are not only growing in acceptance both from consumers and devs but more new models are emerging. The truth is that even though these models largely depend on goodwill and a leap of faith that may or may not pay off, they are models that are growing in acceptance and use quite quickly. Do they have problems? Obviously, like all business models. Nothing is perfect, much less business models. But there are models that are better than others when you're a developer and right now devs are seeing Steam becoming wildly rich and thinking that they too can share that wealth and lose the middle man.

Publishers are becoming obsolete and IF these new models survive and catch on despite the usual bumps then it'll be very hard to convince a dev to use a publisher when you can turn to gamers and they'll give you as much money as you need to finish the project.
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