If you had told gamers five or more years ago that some of the biggest names in video games like Chris Roberts who gave life to the Wing Commander series or Elite co creator David Braben, would be asking gamers to fund their latest video game. Then many would probably have said no way. But thanks to sites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo. Some very creative minds in the video game industry are able to use their creativity without the chains of a major publisher and make a game that they really believe in.
If we take the game Star Citizen as an example. This is the latest game from Chris Roberts. It looks like it is going to be an awesome space sim that has us flying through space looking to trade items and take down the bad guys. This kind of game is really lacking these days and without crowd funding it may never have seen the light of day. Could you imagine a huge publisher like EA or Activision putting money behind a game like this? That is not meant as a dig at either of those companies either. They have their own interests to look after and in their defence it can be a huge risk for a publisher to take a gamble on a “niche” game.
The most recent example of a great Kickstarter campaign is The Might Number 9 from Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune. He has wanted to bring Mega Man back for years, but for one reason or another Capcom has not wanted to do this and pulled the plug on numerous projects. Now thanks to an incredible Kickstarter campaign. Keiji Inafune is able to make not only a game that he wants, but also by the huge amount of backers it had, a game that gamers want to actual play on their PC.
It is not just triple A titles either, many smaller games that would never have graced your PC screen now have can thanks to crowd funding. Shadowrun Returns is a great example of a good indie developer Jordan Weisman being able to cut loose and make the game he wants and not game that a publisher thinks is going to sell three million copies.
Some people are still sceptical about the whole crowd funding thing and that is really understandable, but at the end of the day if you do not want to support a certain game you do not have to. Many campaigns will give gamers extra perks ranging from physical copies of the game, t-shirts, books or other merchandise related to the game. But as cool as this extra “swag” is it is the sense that these gamers have helped get a game out that otherwise would never have seen the light of day is perhaps the biggest perk. That self satisfaction of when the game is finally released and you are sitting at you computer and you think “yeah I helped make this game” that is the real perk of crowd funding for many gamers.
One thing that really does not get talked about when it comes to crowd funding is the way that it is perhaps saving a whole generation of video game developers. Think how hard it has to be if you are a really creative person at a huge video game studio only to be told that your ideas do not equal dollars. It must be really tough and crush the spirits of many game developers. Thanks to these crowd funded games though they are free to make their own games. And who knows if enough of these crowd funded games sell well, maybe it will make some of the larger publishers take note and take more of a chance on games that do not feature a big buff dude with a gun.Tags: crowd funding, kickstarter, pc gaming