You may remember yesterday's news that Double Fine was in talks with Minecraft's Notch to fund a potential sequel to Psychonauts. Tim Schafer, perhaps unintentionally, built on that momentum to do something incredible.
Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert, the original duo behind Monkey Island, wanted to make an adventure game. Adventure games don't sell that well these days and large publishers wouldn't fund such a thing. Schafer took to Kickstarter, the crowdsource funding Web site, to hopefully raise $400,000 to make their dream game. Little did they expect to raise that amount and then some in less than 24 hours.
Perhaps the reason for their success is that Kickstarter allows companies to offer tier-based rewards depending on how much they donate to the project. Double Fine's game was offering a free copy of the game with a gift of $15, the donator's name in the credits for $100 or a private dinner with Schafer and Gilbert for a gift of $10,000. If you're wondering, the $10,000 has already been pledged.
With yesterday's Twitter chatter about funding Psychonauts 2 to this Kickstarter funding story, it's showing that the relationship between developers and publishers is changing. It used to be that any potential game would need a publisher to advertise the game and market it for mass consumption. Double Fine will be releasing their game on their own terms on Steam funded by their fans. That's an amazing strategy and one that will probably be emulated more now.
For those wondering, Double Fine has already raised over $535,000 for their new game. While the required budget was only $400,000, they will use any extra money to do more voice work or localize the game into more languages. The more they get, the better the game will be. If you want to pledge a donation, you can do so at their Kickstarter page.
This signals the beginning of a new model of game funding and game creation. While indie game development has been done this way for many years now, this is the first time a major developer has taken to crowdsourced funding. It will be interesting to see if more developers take to this instead of using publisher's money.
Finally, Schafer took to Twitter last night to comment on how just how amazing this whole ordeal has been:
Holy smokes, we just hit $100k!!! I think that's higher than the budget of Monkey Island! Adventure gaaaaaaames!!!
Wow, thanks to all the Backers of our Kickstarter project! You guys are going to make me tear up. If I weren't so damn tough, I mean.
We just hit $200k...you guys... Oh man. I have to warn you, I always cry at the end of It's a Wonderful Life. :')
300! 300! 300! 300! 300! 300! 300! 300! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy!
$375,000! Shouldn't you people be in bed? Who's up now and backing this project? Hawaii? Thanks, Hawaii! 🙂
By the way, if we go OVER our goal, it means we can add more platforms for the game, more voice, more music, more awesomeness.
$391k! Side note: This whole thing has put me over 50k twitter followers, and suddenly I'm getting a ton of "hey baby" spambotbabes.
If we surpass our goal, we'll use the extra money to localize the game into many languages! And not just with Google translate!
$407,470. I love you, world. Double Fine fans are the greatest fans in the whole world. Your gonna make me cry. 🙂 🙂 🙂
Okay, on to the next project! the next thing we need to do is get this Black Sabbath reunion back on track, people.
This has been an incredible night, thanks to you crazy people. :')