If you follow games on Kickstarter, you’ve probably heard about Obsidian’s Project Eternity which not only reached its goal in two days but has surpassed it by another $600,000. This makes Project Eternity yet another huge success for games in Kickstarter land.
Of course, one of the reasons video game projects on Kickstarter have taken off so well is because they eliminate the need for companies who want to make games to rely on publishers to get the games funded and out the door. And let’s face it. Gamers are not incredibly fond of publishing companies these days. But! We will happily throw our cash at computer screens if the money is passing from us directly to the devs — even if the game doesn’t exist yet.
And, it would appear publishers have noticed this. According to Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart, publishers are trying to get in on the Kickstarter act. Urqhart’s statement came in the form of a comment on the Project Eternity Kickstarter page — which is admittedly now buried in a flurry of other comments — and states:
We were actually contacted by some publishers over the last few months that wanted to use us to do a Kickstarter. I said to them ‘So, you want us to do a Kickstarter for, using our name, we then get the Kickstarter money to make the game, you then publish the game, but we then don’t get to keep the brand we make and we only get a portion of the profits.’
They said, ‘Yes’.
While I personally don’t ever see any developer thinking that the above is a good deal — who wants to do all the work and get nothing out of it? — it might be a good idea to be a little more cautious when a familiar company launches a Kickstarter. Just in case.
Ladies and gentlemen. This is why we can’t have nice things.