When Double Fine managed to raise $1 million in less than 24 hours, and are currently sitting at a handsome $2.3 million with 14 days left, there was a chorus of excited fans who assumed that it was the ‘end of an era’ for video game funding. Speaking with Rock, Paper, Shotgun earlier this week, Tim Schafer himself dispelled these misconceptions, stating that publishers aren’t very concerned by the current status of Double Fine’s successful Kickstarter.
Responding to a question asking if he heard any reaction from publishers about the money that Double Fine has raised for its adventure game, Schafer said that they don’t have any reason to worry. The fact is, with game budgets growing to such incredible amounts over the last decade, $2 million simply isn’t enough to fund anything besides relatively small projects.
“We have four teams here. Those other teams are still out there pitching new games to publishers, and their response has always been, “Oh that’s great – congratulations on that. Now let’s talk about games like we always have.” I don’t think any publishers are quaking in their boots – they’re like, “Oh, two million dollars, that’s cute! That’s the marketing budget for the little game I’m working on.” It’s not a big amount of money for them. It’s a big amount of money for us though.”
To put things into perspective, even a game like Psychonauts back in 2005 had a budget of approximately $12 million. The possibility of large games being funded by fans is a nice dream, but it’s not viable in this current market. Even Double Fine managing to raise $2.3 million is an isolated case, with fans only willing to hand over large amounts of money to support a beloved studio.
That being said, the increasing popularity of Kickstarter does present independent developers with more funding opportunities, and the useful service that it provides shouldn’t be discredited.
Interview: Tim Schafer On Kickstarter, Passion And Dads [Rock, Paper, Shotgun]