There is a massive shift in the gaming industry and it’s happening right now; it’s called crowdfunding. For the small minority who haven’t heard, this basically means that a developer has put out an advert seeking money in order to kick-start their gaming project. Sites like Kickstarter cater for this and many developers often exceed their funding goal with plenty to spare.
But what does this actually mean for the industry? And what does it mean for us as consumers? Well, read on and we’ll explore what effect it is having, and will have, on the gaming industry.
Gamers are in control
Remember all those times you have complained that the same titles are getting shipped out mercilessly, just in different packages? Well now you might be able to have your say on what does and doesn’t get released. Publishers usually quash smaller developers because they think their idea has no merit and is too small for them to bother about. Well not any more. This system results in games being published, even those with big budgets, without a publisher even being involved.
Gamers will get rewarded
We hear all the time how big companies are ever grateful of the customers who buy their games, but what do we really get in return? In comparison to them raking in the big money, it’s pretty much nothing. So, if we put our cash into a game getting developed and produced, we are now get rewarded for doing so. People who put in the right amount of money may end up being part of the production process, being part of the testing procedure or they simply receive a copy of the game before the release date.
Gamers become part of something
How awesome would it be to be able to say, “I funded this game, I brought it to life”? To share an experience with family or friends which you played a part in would be something huge, tied with the above point, those who fund titles could be onto something big in terms of their return.
Creative titles will become more common
The current batch of games we’re seeing is becoming stale, fast. With crowd-funding however we will begin to see people creating titles that are creative, fun and completely free of any sort of regulation by big companies. There will be no conflict of interests or poor marketing because the developer will be in full control of the whole project.
New genres may appear
In a similar light to new creative titles, this type of funding may finally mean we will step away from our obsession with guns and constant f-bombs and see some new genres come to the table. Granted many new games may just be a different spin on existing genres but imagine the endless possibilities smaller companies may actually be able to come up with.
Games will have a guaranteed audience
Think about it; people who put money in a project want to see the end result and will ultimately buy into it once complete. Those who fund a game will buy it and play it when it is released to see how their money has been spent. Similarly, if you raise enough cash to start working on your project then you know there’s an audience out there for it, but if you don’t, then it might not be worth developing.
On the flipside however, if a project does go under then it is very unlikely that investors will see any of their money back – but this is this risk people are seemingly willing to take. For what it unlocks in terms of potential and scope for the future I think this is a completely viable method of seeking capital for gaming projects worldwide. If it means a more fair, unique and open marketplace then I support this 100%.
What about you? Let us know in the comments below, if you please.