Developer Spicy Horse recently updated its Kickstarter page for the action/RPG Akaneiro: Demon Hunters explaining that updates will be coming to the game a lot slower because they have been forced to lay off all but two developers on the game's development team. Why would they do that, you ask? Apparently the game costs $2 million to make and only a tiny portion of it was funded by the community.
Another day, another ridiculous amount of money raised for Star Citizen, the epic space-based game from Privateer and Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts and his team at Cloud Imperium Games. Over the weekend the game hit the $35 million crowd-funding mark - raised from a combination of crowd-funding from the company's official site and a very successful Kickstarter campaign earlier this year.
Oculus VR has raised $75 million to help complete the consumer version of the Rift virtual reality gaming headset. Venture capitalist Andreessen Horowitz helped find most of the Series B funding money, which comes from Spark Capital, Matrix Partners and Formation|8. This injection of cash follows $16 million in Series A funding the company received in June of this year, $2.4 million in crowdfunding generated from its highly successful Kickstarter campaign in 2012, and direct sales of more than 30,000 development kits.
With only three more days to go, MidBoss Games' Read Only Memories is $10,000 from reaching its funding goal. As of this writing, the cyberpunk-themed point-and-click adventure game has managed to raise $52,074 of its $62,064 goal from 1,139 backers with just three more days to go before its funding goal deadline on Kickstarter comes to a close.
G3 Studios wants to get out in front of an upcoming crowd-funding campaign to bankroll its upcoming PC role-playing game, Deathfire: Ruins of Nethermore. Deathfire: Ruins of Nethermore is described as a first-person, party-based role-playing game with a heavy emphasis on story and character development. A prototype of the game is already in development by G3 Studios (using the Unity engine), and veteran role-playing game designer/producer Guido Henkel is leading the project.
UK-based video games retailer Green Man Gaming and Moshi Monsters development studio Mind Candy could be fast-tracked to the London Stock Exchange under a new government scheme called The Future Fifty.
First unveiled by UK chancellor George Osborne in April, the program connects "high-growth tech companies" with specialized support to lay the foundations of an initial public offering or sale. Two UK video games companies were chosen from an initial list of 25 businesses in the technology, digital, consumer goods and financial services markets.
2D point-and-click adventure game sequel The Ballads of Reemus 2 managed to raise $15,170 CAD via its Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign, putting the project $170 CAD above its funding goal of $15,000 CAD. As of this writing, the crowd-funding campaign has just over two days to go before its Kickstarter campaign comes to a close.
Softbank and GungHo Online are making a substantial investment in Finnish free-to-play and mobile gaming juggernaut Supercell. The company is selling a 51 percent stake for $1.53 billion to Japan’s SoftBank and game developer GungHo Online Entertainment. The strategic investment will make Supercell a subsidiary of Softbank, with the funds being used to fuel Supercell’s global expansion.
Chris Robert's PC-based space simulation game Star Citizen has surpassed the $20 million crowd-funding mark, with more than 260,000 supporters backing the game being developed by the Wing Commander and Privateer developer and his team at Cloud Imperium Games. Roberts and company managed to raise the funds in less than a year through crowd-funding efforts on Kickstarter and on the game's web site. Around $10 million of that figure was raised in the last four and a half months, according to the game's developers.
Kickstarter-funded sword fighting game Clang has run out of cash and is looking - with little success - for additional funding. In an update to the Kickstarter page for the game, Neal Stephenson from Subutai Studio told backers that the $526,000 pledged by Kickstarter donors in July 2012 is all gone and raising funding from other sources has proven difficult because publishers and investors interested in the sector are "risk-averse."
Android-based home console maker Ouya announced this week that it is making important changes to the way its Free the Games Fund works after it acknowledged that the program contained "too many loopholes" that could be manipulated by those who want to take advantage of the matching funds program. The $1 million promotion had offered to match the donations made to Kickstarter games that raised at least $50,000 in exchange for six month exclusivity to the system.
Worcester, Massachusetts-based Becker College and the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI) have been awarded a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) to help build the MassDiGI New Ventures Center (NVC). Becker College also announced that it will match the EDA grant, making a total of $2.8 million available to build the state-of-the-art facility.
The Entertaintment Software Association (ESA) issued a press release this week praising the Texas Film Commission for expanding its economic incentives to include "digital interactive media productions."
Ouya founder and CEO Julie Uhrman attempted to address the controversy surrounding its 'Free The Games' funding program in a blog post last night, but her statement has further exacerbated the situation and caused at least one developer to pull her game from the platform. Developers have criticized that platform holder for failing to address concerns related to its funding program. Uhrman's statement did little to quell that criticism, as developers took to the blog post to loudly complain about the tin-eared response.
StarCraft professional player Sean "Day9" Plott has joined a video game development studio. He has joined Artillery as its new "Head of Games," along with co-founder Eric Burkhart who will serve as "Head of Growth." Plott and Burkhart join Artillery’s lineup of developers who previously worked at such companies as Google and Facebook. The goal of the studio is to "transform the browser into a gaming console" using HTML5.
It looks like former Red Sox pitcher and 38 Studios founder Curt Schilling - along with associates of the company - could face legal problems on another front. Last week the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp. approved a request by the federal bankruptcy court trustee to use up to $150,000 in assets recovered from the company to further investigate its former officers, directors, and other parties. If this investigation turns up any further information, it could lead to additional legal actions against 38 Studios.
Tilting Point has hired Tom Bass as its new Vice President of Marketing. Prior to joining the company Bass worked for video game publisher 2K Games, where he held the positions of Director of Marketing and Senior Director of Social Media and Consumer Relations. He worked there for the last eight years. According to Tilting Point, Bass will lead a team focused on mobile game marketing for the company’s portfolio of games.
The latest efforts to fund Shadow of the Eternals - a spiritual successor to Eternal Darkness from Precursor Games - has come up short on Kickstarter, but the developers behind the game vow to keep trying, saying that they have "not given up." The Kickstarter campaign recently ended, raising $323,950 of its $750,000 goal from 5,932 backers.
Writer Sophie Prell has launched a Kickstarter to fund a bi-monthly web show that focuses on video games, the people that make them, and the fans (who will get a chance to interact with the games industry in various ways). The show will be called "Sincerely Sophie" and will run two shows a month for ten months if she can meet her funding goal of $16,000.
Here's more from the Kickstarter page:
An IndieGoGo fundraising campaign hopes to raise $9,250 to fund competition of a game about abortion rights in Texas called Choice: Texas. Choice: Texas is described by its creators as an interactive fiction game about abortion access in the Lone Star state, and will be made available for free online when it is completed. The game is the creation of Allyson Whipple (writer, editor, and poet) and Carly Kocurek (writer and cultural historian) with the help of illustrator Grace Jennings.
GOG.com has launched a new portal intended to entice indie developers to join its DRM-free PC games digital storefront. The new portal, found here, encourages indie developers to apply with GOG to have their games available for sale on the site. The site offers details on royalty splits and how developers who need a small investment can get some help from GOG.
(This article is a reprint of a story that originally appeared on Oklahoma Game Developers, and is reproduced here with the author's permission.)
Yesterday afternoon lawmakers in the Rhode Island House began examining hundreds of documents in an attempt to piece together a timeline on the $75 million loan guarantee awarded to Curt Schilling's 38 Studios. The committee began by looking at emails from the former Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Keith Stokes.
Stokes said in emails that the General Assembly would not have created the loan guarantee program without knowing Curt Schilling was interested in moving his video game company to Rhode Island in 2010.
E. Zachary Knight pointed out a new Kickstarter funding campaign for a game called A Wasted Life. Developed by fellow Oklahoma developer Robert Dishong, A Wasted Life is a zombie survival game promising procedural weapons, randomly generated environments to explore, and a "dynamic" story system.