Ever since Tim Schafer decided to use Kickstarter as a way to fund the upcoming Double Fine Adventure, people have been talking about how crowd funding would revolutionize the whole game industry's business model.
Well that hasn't happened yet, but there's no denying Kickstarter has given a lot of games and game related projects the chance to actually get made, something that would never have been possible under the current Triple-AAA publisher model.
With that in mind, here's a look at the Top 5 projects to achieve Kickstarter success and that will hopefully go on to achieve critical success as well.
5 - Planetary Annihilation
Funding Goal - $900,000
Funded for - $2,229,344
Planetary Annihilation is a spiritual successor to the Total Annihilation, the third leg of the Real time strategy trifecta of the 90s, the other two being StarCraft and Command & Conquer. With a development team made of key staffers from Total Annihilation, Planetary Annihilation promises to be a RTS that works on a 'macro' scale, with war being conducted on a galaxy wide scale and micromanagement of resources being de-emphasized. Lead developer Jon Mavor has promised that the teams stated goal is to have a million units active during engagements.
4 - Wasteland 2
Funding Goal - $900,000
Funded for - $2,933,252
The original Wasteland was the game that inspired the creation of the omnipresent Fallout games and is considered by many to be the grand-daddy of the post-apocalyptic games. Wasteland 2's development is being spearheaded by original Wasteland producer, Brian Fargo, whose assembled much of the talent that created the original. The game is intended to be a throwback the gameplay of the original, but taking full advantage of currently available technology.
3 - Double Fine Adventure
Funding Goal - $400,000
Funded for - $3,336,371
The game that started the Kickstarting video game phenom to begin with. Because, honestly, who could have imagined that there was a hunger on this scale for a simple point-and-click adventure game. Tim Schafer's success with Double Fine Adventure was unexpected success and no one anticipated that the project would exceed it's funding goal by 834%! Aside from the Kickstarter aspect, another thing that separates Double Fine Adventure's production from other games is the unprecedented level of access Tim Schafer and team are giving fans to the games production. In fact, the game direction will be directed influenced by fan input. To participate go here.
2 - Project Eternity
Funding Goal - $1,100,000
Funded for - $3,986,929
When Bioware started development on Neverwinter Nights, their first 3D RPG, it effectively marked the final death knell of the isometric computer role playing game, of which Baldur's Gate is the prime example. As Project Eternity's final pledge count testify, there are a lot of people that miss this kind of game and this game means to fill that nostalgia craving. Under development by Obsidian Entertainment, a studio with years of RPG experience behind them, if any game is going to revive that laudable genre this is it. Personally, of the Kickstarter projects this is the one that has me most excited, because it will involve a game style that I really enjoy and be able to contain concepts and ideas that a publisher would scoff at.
1 - OUYA
Funding Goal - $950,000
Funded for - $8,596,474
You'll have noticed a common thread among all the Kickstarters featured here, in that all of them are funding projects to revive older games or styles of games. In other words there's a heavy emphasis on nostalgia at play. But OUYA is a complete combo breaker. Firstly, there's not much in the way of nostalgia here and secondly, OUYA is not a video game in and of itself. In a nutshell OUYA is a new video game console, that is being designed to be a completely open and will run on Google's Android operating system.
Sounds like a crazy idea, but apparently the concept really caught on, because the project received $8,596,474 in pledges. And they only wanted $950,000. Also unlike the other projects featured, OUYA is the most risky. With the other projects at worst you'll end up with a crappy game. The entire exercise wouldn't have been anymore risky than purchasing a game at CNA and then it turned out to be bad. With OUYA, you could up with a box of metal and plastic good for nothing more than weighing you papers down.
But if it works, OUYA could revolutionize how the gaming industry works, breaking the barrier to entry for aspirant game developers and allowing for innovation in gaming, something that's been sorely mission from the industry these last few years.
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