Friday, February 10, 2012

Double Fine Does (Really, Really) Big Business on Kickstarter

I've seen this story popping up all over the web, and it's just too good to pass on myself.  Double Fine Productions, creators of such video games as the wonderful Psychonauts, decided to launch their new game on Kickstarter.  Within a few hours (when the story really caught my attention) they had made a few hundred thousand dollars.  Now, they've made well over a million dollars.

This news really is incredible.  First, it shows the viability of Kickstarter as a platform.  Kickstarter, and the projects listed with it, are often derided as being unprofessional flights of fancy from people who couldn't cut it in the "real" industry (whichever that may be).  But Double Fine is a legit, professional studio who has made games for the Xbox and computers.  How much their success helps in removing the stigma surrounding Kickstarter has yet to be seen, but I can only imagine the impact will be positive.

Second, this says a lot about the way content industries are headed.  Tim Schafer says that they decided to go to Kickstarter because no one would pick up the game, a throwback adventure game, saying it wouldn't sell.  By bypassing the gatekeepers, Double Fine has shown that there are, in fact, plenty of people willing to buy such a product.  They also have the added bonus of not being constrained by big studio red tape around their vision.  Content creators are no longer limited by what corporations think will sell and they can market directly to consumers themselves.

The project comes with a few cool things.  Even the lowest pledge ($15) gets a copy of the game and it goes on up to lunch with the creators...until you go to their site, and see that there are even more cool rewards for pledges too big for Kickstarter, like being a character in the game.  This all comes with a documentary, too, which has been included in their budget.

If you'd like to be one of many to support this game, head on over to their Kickstarter page.  You might just be part of a revolution.

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