2,526 crowdsourcing and crowdfunding sites
This week, entrepreneur Paul Hanraets and his team launched Gambitious, an equity-based crowdfunding platform for video games.
Gambitious allows investors to purchase a stake in video game projects posted on the platform, promising its users a share of the profits should the game succeed. The site hedges its bets by also offering a pledge-based model, where gamers can score rewards (like a copy of the game) by pledging money to a project. Game studios can even opt for a fusion of the two funding models, soliciting pledges while simultaneously offering equity in their projects. This hybrid structure will likely be the most popular funding model, suggested Gambitious co-founder Mike Wilson.
Game studios seeking investments through Gambitious must sell between €20,000 and €2.5 million of equity in their projects. Investors, meanwhile, can invest as little as €20. U.S. residents will have to wait until the JOBS Act’s crowdfunding exemption goes into effect before investing — this is expected in early 2013 — but they’ll be able to begin pledging to projects when that functionality hits Gambitious in mid-August.
“The funding bottleneck has been a problem for a lot of people in [the video game] industry for a long time,” said Gambitious’ Wilson. “The audience speaking up and saying what they want is a big improvement over a few guys in suits who haven’t played any game but golf in over 20 years trying to guess what they want based on some cheap focus groups.”
Gambitious is the daughter platform of Symbid, the Netherlands-based crowdfund investing platform. Gambitious uses "the Symbid backbone” — Symbid’s backend technology — and shares Symbid’s rigorous acceptance standards. To utilize Gambitious, game development studios must be a certified legal entity — like a partnership or LLC — and need a clear business plan, like this one from Tink developer Mimimi Productions.
Destined for the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, and Steam, Mimimi’s colorful action-adventure game Tink is the first project to solicit investments through Gambitious. Future investment opportunities will include 3D Realms’ Earth No More and Red Fly Studios’ Mushroom Men: Truffle Trouble, among other projects.
While crowdfunding is rapidly changing the way small game developers and publishers raise capital for their projects, prominent industry analyst Michael Pachter doesn’t envision the top dogs of the gaming world — Activision, Electronic Arts, Rockstar and so forth — shaking in their boots anytime soon.
“I think it’s great for indie game developers, but don’t think it will have a significant role in shaping the industry,” Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, told Crowdsourcing.org. “Big games will still need a lot of funding, and I don’t see small games taking a significant share of overall game sales.”
Sure, Gambitious isn’t likely to fund the next Grand Theft Auto or Gran Turismo game anytime soon, but Wilson thinks crowdfunding will prove essential to sustaining creativity and closing the funding gap in the sequel-heavy, hit-driven games business.
“In all honesty, I have no idea how much money [there is to be made] in a platform like this for games, but we absolutely know that it needs to exist,” said Wilson. “There’s an awful lot of people in the industry that have been at it for a long time that really, really want this to work, so I like our chances.”
To learn more about Gambitious, check out our From the Crowd podcast with Gambitious CEO Paul Hanraets.
UPDATE: The fine folks at Gambitious sent over their "launch video," which they are allowing us to premiere on the web. Check it out below.