Why Wing Commander’s Chris Roberts turned to crowdfunding
Chris Roberts, creator of games like Wing Commander and Privateer, is making a come back with his new space simulation project – Star Citizen for the PC. However, he hopes to retain more creative freedom and maintain a direct, simple connect with his audience this time by bypassing the traditional publishers and turning to crowdfunding instead. He hopes to raise at least $2million through his official website. In doing so, he also skips over the popular game funding site, Kickstarter to “maintain complete control over his relationship with players as the game continues to evolve”.
On his new approach, Roberts says that:
In the old days, this is the presentation I would’ve given to [EA executives]…ultimately, [crowdfunding is] the same sort of device, but it’s for a different audience. I’m pitching to the people who ultimately count — the people who are going to buy the game. If you’re doing this [pitch] at, say, EA, they’re just sort of anticipating or estimating how many people want the product, and they’re fronting the cash for it.”
While the advantages of this is pretty clear, the downside also appears to be more like a blessing. “The downside is that they’ve had a lot of time to work through the kinks. Our site’s gone down quite a few times because there are too many people visiting it.”
This new approach is sure to affect the final product as he says:
When I decided to come back, I’m essentially choosing to take this option versus taking the more traditional path. It’s not that I can’t get somebody to give me money to make the game. It’s just that I would be making a different kind of game [if I went another path]. I wouldn’t be making the kind of open world online-connected thing. I’d be making something — you could guess what it would be called — for next-generation consoles for 2014 for 2015.”
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