Entertainment is big business. Large, obscene amounts of money are both consumed and generated by the human race just looking for a little downtime. Millions upon millions of monies are taken away from the poor malnourished homeless orphans across the globe just so we can aim to forget about this world and all its problems… if even for a few hours. Isn’t it great?
Since entertainment is such a big deal, it was always destined to turn corporate, where credibility of creativity is equated to the ability to suck cash out of the mindless millions in anyway possible. Films, music, and games are essentially only as good as their profit margin.
With this comes publishing houses. Businesses that seem to have almost complete control over the direction of their investments. Game publishing is no different. The likes of Activision exist for one general purpose… profit. This has taken it’s toll on game developers as even the most creative and brilliant are turned down or manipulated into soiling their dreams and pleasuring the fat cats as they jizz money all over their own faces or die a gruesome death with a belt around their necks and their pants down in a hotel room.
With the proliferation of piracy, and the tough financial state of the world, it has become difficult for publishers to warrant funding any project that doesn’t, in some way, appeal to the ‘mainstream’. Funding needs a new source. So much brouhaha comes from gamers, the most hipster community on earth, as new titles cease to embody their needs, albeit the ‘dying’ needs of older generations.
Tim Schafer, once again making waves, is looking to change the status quo! If the general community want a new point and click adventure title, and publishers refuse to fund it, then it’s up to the fans to make it happen. And so it has.
Mr Schafer, and his studio, Double Fine, have embarked on a journey that is set to alter the course of interactive entertainment history. Utilising Kickstarter.com, Double Fine put it to the fans to donate towards a new point and click adventure game.
For those who don’t know, Schafer, alongside Ron Gilbert, is one of the pioneers of the point and click adventure genre with notable titles such as Day of the Tentacle, Monkey Island, and Grim Fandango. So if anyone is going to revive the genre, it’s these two.
Originally, Schafer only required $400k to get the project started, but was quickly turned down by publishing houses. After putting it to the fans on Kickstarter, Double Fine managed to raise over $1m in just over 24 hours. Who said fandom is dead!? They currently have over $1.5m in the bank with 47,500 backers. Check out their Kickstarter page here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/66710809/double-fine-adventure.
Publishers need not be the middle man we all love to hate. If the fans demand it, let them pay for it. Let the fans become the original investors and let the corporate orgy of publishing die out. I wouldn’t be surprised to see other, even bigger, developers taking this route and maybe even reviving some more titles or genres.
Well don’t just take it from me… see what Mr Schafer himself has to say on the issue: