Posted By Stephen B. about 1 year, 7 months ago
It all started innocently enough one Wednesday evening in February. Tim Schafer, the man who had made such classic games such as Full Throttle, Grim Fandango, and Psychonauts, wanted to go back to the genre that launched his career: the point-and-click adventure game. But despite his previous accomplishments and successes with his company, Double Fine Productions, Tim could not get the funding to make such a game. Then he found the crowd-sourcing company, KickStarter, and got an idea. He’d appeal to the fans who knew of his work for the funds necessary to get a game off the ground, and even film its development to help give the fans a better connection with the developers and be a part of his “experiment”.
On February 8th, 2012, Tim Schafer launched his KickStarter campaign, asking for $400,000; a large sum of money when compared to other KickStarter campaigns (at the time). On the Double Fine Blog where Tim Schafer announced his campaign, he joked:
But jokes aside, Tim was actually much more humble and realistic about his campaign. His campaign would last a little over a month, which Tim figured would be enough time to reach his goal. In an interview he had agreed to do before his campaign had launched, Tim said:
About eight hours later after launching his campaign, Tim Schafer had reached his $400,000 goal. Within 24 hours, people had pledged $1 Million to his campaign. This shattered KickStarter records and got the attention of game developers, game journalists, and game players. Not only that, but a number of significant business and financial news outlets such as Inc. Magazine, Business Insider, MSNBC, NPR, and CNN all took notice.
This was when the “KickStarter Spring” began.
But what exactly is this “KickStarter Spring” that I speak of? Just like the Arab Spring has brought about radical changes and revolutions across the Middle East, the same is happening, in a way, on KickStarter. In the past few months, several veteran gamedevelopers and game industry professionals have taken to KickStarter to help fund their games and projects. Some developers are even speaking out about how they truly feel about the current business model between developers and publishers, leading some journalists to worry if KickStarter might lead to more than a few burned bridges for developers. But just like the Arab Spring, it is still far too early to tell what the final outcome of the KickStarter Spring will be. It’s possible that the KickStarter Spring might just be a footnote in video game history, or it might become a major game changer that shakes up the traditional business model of how games are made.
Either way, there is a lot going on over at KickStarter, and I intend to cover it.