Being funded by the Kickstarter web site, the Wasteland 2 campaign has now raised over $2.2 million, and seven days remain to make a pledge. Accompanying this milestone is the news that Interplay veteran Chris Avellone, and his studio Obsidian, will now be joining inExile and founder Brian Fargo to work on the project.
Avellone recently took to Twitter, saying:
“Thanks to everyone who supported the Wasteland 2 Kickstarter – we hit the 2.1 million mark, can’t wait to get started!”
Brian Fargo also wrote an update on Kickstarter, stating:
“We look forward to having Chris bring his style and prose to the game… One of the questions I constantly get is an understanding of what happens when donations continue to grow. The question is especially important as I think there are more RPG gamers out there than almost any other category. I would like to give a little visibility on what we would expect to add to the game if we hit $2.5 million and $3.0 million. And do keep in mind that ALL money raised goes into development.”
The campaign was launched with an original goal of $900,000, with Brian Fargo willing to fund the extra $100,000 if required to get the project up and running. New incentives are constantly being implemented to push the campaign along, with complete modding tools being made available if $3 million is raised.
Analysis: Kickstarter has become incredibly popular quite quickly and it’s very interesting to watch unfold. With Double Fine raising $3.3 million, Shadowrun sitting at $720,000 currently, and now Wasteland 2 being funded at over $2.2 million, there’s no question that crowd funding is a viable option to would-be developers.
The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that Kickstarter is something the gamers needed, not necessarily the industry itself. Nowadays, there’s very little trust in publishers and the gaming industry as a whole. But with Kickstarter providing a unfiltered line of communication straight from the developers to the audience, the funding can be provided by potential customers. This and the removal of DRM has really injected a bit more faith and trust in an industry that’s in dire need of it.
I don’t see Kickstarter funding massive AAA titles anytime soon, but it fills a much-needed hole in the industry. With so many titles that fan bases want revived, this provides a way to get those titles under development and gauges the amount of interest in such titles. Customers now have influence over the market and what they want to see made, and I only want to see more of this in the future.