If you aren’t aware, Double Fine put up a Kickstarter project last night with the goal of reaching $400k of funding in just over a month. Within 9 hours they hit their funding target. As of my writing this, they are at $580,000.
This action by Double Fine is historic, and 5-10 years down the road, will be seen as a major turning point for the game industry. Why? Because any high profile creative person in the game industry right now gets to sit up and say “Holy shit, I could make a game on my own terms without a publisher!”
If I were in upper management at EA, Ubi, or Activision right now, I would be shitting my pants. And if I was any of those people who recently left those companies to start up side projects… I’d be writing up my Kickstarter page as we speak.
You see, the issue is not that this will kill AAA games. Or even allow the funding of AAA games. What it is going to do is accelerate the already rapid brain drain that the game industry is experiencing right now, as the most creative developers flee first and second party studios, and avoid third party entanglements. AAA games will get worse, because all the people who truly love making games will bail in order to have creative control, input, and the ability to do something more than a GTA or CoD clone.
The game industry is already suffering from a dearth of creativity. This action by Double Fine is a clarion call to all developers who are passionate about games that they don’t have to suffer the ministrations of a middle manager with an ego in order to make games.