Crash Lab Founder Talks about the Liabilities of Crowd-Funding

Some interesting comments from Free Radical founder and the founder of the recently launched UK studio Crash Lab categorizes the Kickstarter funding model as "asking people without knowledge of the risks" to fund projects. Speaking to NotEnoughShaders, Stephen Ellis said that he was happy to see that some game developers are finding success in raising funds through the crowd-sourcing site, he also says that potential contributors to these projects need to be wary of a company's need to use crowdfunding in the first place. He added that funding projects via crowd-funding sites could have dangerous consequences for games that might run over-budget, and questioned how developers should go about obtaining extra money.

"Essentially, Kickstarter is asking people who don’t understand the risks and challenges of the industry to fund it," said Ellis. "I’m sure that there will be some high-profile successes as a result but I expect a fair amount of disappointment too. Game development is fundamentally a creative endeavor, which doesn’t sit well with budgets and schedules. Things often don’t go according to plan, and games frequently require more time and more money than the developers initially thought."

It's interesting because those who have funded projects have not yet had to deal with such a situation because most of the high profile game projects are not yet complete or at a point where they need additional funds – at least to our knowledge… Ellis goes on to say that funders do not know what happens to a project, and because Kickstarter takes no responsibility for a project if it fails, funders could find their investment to be wasted as projects are shelved or abandoned.

"I think that the novelty of Kickstarter and the surrounding press coverable were a large part of the reason that Double Fine were able to raise as much as they did," he added. "I don’t expect games to be routinely funded that way, and I don’t expect that figure to be significantly exceeded any time soon. However, FPS’s are much more expensive to develop than point & click adventure games. To put this in context, Double Fine Adventure raised about as much money (before fees) as it cost to develop GoldenEye 007 on the Nintendo 64 in 1997."

Source: Develop


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