What started as a rumor (now confirmed to RipTen) about a publisher canceling a project under development at Obsidian, spiraled off into some very interesting conversation from consumers that simply aren’t happy with a lot of what publishers are driving out into the market. My piece talked a bit about the message conveyed in both Double Fine’s and inXile’s Kickstarter pitches. That message? “We can do this without publishers.”
There may be room in the ecosystem for the existing model and the new, crowd-sourced projects, certainly. At this point, the difference in scale between publisher-funded and Kickstarter-enabled projects would indicate this. Still, inXile’s Brian Fargo sees the movement, and his team’s success, as a way to support further independence from publishers.
In a recent update on the Wasteland 2 Kickstarter page, entitled “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” Fargo shares a message he received from an old neighbor thanking the developer for taking the time so many years ago to speak with him about gaming. As Fargo stated,
It shows that being nice creates goodwill 20 years later.
Now, Fargo is issuing a challenge to Kickstarter developers. “Kick it Forward” challenges those responsible for funded projects to set aside 5% of profits (post-completion revenues, not a reallocation of backer payments), to channel into other developers’ efforts. He and his team are creating a badge and hoping that more studios will join the effort. Fargo is looking to see “Kick it Forward” cause a “true shakeup.”
The development community has come together to support us in ways that I didn’t think possible and our power as developers will ultimately come from us sticking together. Both gamers and developers have so much more strength than they realize.
Brian Fargo seems to be looking to accelerate the video game industry’s arrival at the tipping point. He closes with a potent, and unmistakably blunt, call to action,
Let’s get the power shifted around a bit!