2,927 crowdsourcing and crowdfunding sites
Brian Fargo, chief executive of video game development studio inXile entertainment, successfully raised over $1 million through Kickstarter to create a sequel Wasteland, his 1988 post-apocalyptic role-playing game.
Inspired by the astounding crowdfunding success of Tim Schafer and Double Fine — the Double Fine Adventure Kickstarter project just closed after raising a whopping $3.34 million — Fargo and the inXile team posted the Wasteland 2 project on March 13 with a funding goal of $900,000. Just two days later, they’ve raked in $1,073,988 from 19,382 backers.
With 32 days remaining until the funding period closes, that figure will continue to grow. The more money the development team raises, the better the game will be, promises inXile, with more environments, characters, divergent storylines and original music. If the project tops $1.5 million — which seems quite likely at this juncture — inXile will develop the game for Mac OS X as well as PC.
Though Wasteland 2 will be more expansive and versatile than the original, the development team won’t abandon the defining features of the original game: it'll be a top-down, turned-based and tactical role-playing experience.
inXile is serious about soliciting and implementing community feedback. Everyone who funds the project will have the opportunity to contribute to the game’s creative vision. “We will have forums up for design discussion and soliciting your ideas for what will make Wasteland 2 rock,” reads the project page. “This is your chance to influence the kind of game you want to see. With fan funding, you drive the direction of game design and development.” In addition to constant updates during development, inXile will give funders access to a private beta through Steam before the game launches.
inXile clearly took some cues from Double Fine in crafting the reward tiers for Wasteland 2 backers. Backers who contribute $15 or more will receive a downloadable, DRM-free copy of the game for PC, which the studio hopes to complete October 2013. Those who offer $30 or more will snag some digital concept art and the original game soundtrack in addition to the digital game. The more pricey, limited edition rewards — above $2,500, $5,000 and $10,000 — include an “exploded blood sausage” figurine (no takers presently), an in-game statue modeled on the backer (7 of 10 taken), and an invitation to a private party with the Wasteland development team (8 of 8 taken).
Crowdfunding and video game development go hand-in-hand, as both industries are beginning to realize. Crowdsourcing.org Editor Eric Mack and I recently released a podcast discussing the topic with Paul Hanraets of Gambitious, an equity-based crowdfunding platform for game development slated to launch sometime this month. Go ahead, give it a listen.
inXile’s last major release was Hunted: The Demon’s Forge, a cooperative, action-oriented role-playing game for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. Check out my video interview with inXile President Matt Findley for more information about Hunted.