Outer Wilds is a unique game for many reasons. It’s billed as “Majora’s Mask meets Apollo 13” with a time-looping mechanic in which the universe “resets” itself every twenty minutes. It’s also boasts a vintage art style that looks like a mashup between cel-shading and claymation.
But the most unique aspect of this game right now is how it’s being financed: through a new crowdfunding platform called Fig.
The latest addition to the ranks of sites that include Kickstarter, Indiegogo goes about things rather differently. For a start there will be no campaigns for potato salad or other ridiculous projects; Fig is will finance videogames and videogames only.
You only need to see who is on Fig’s advisory board to find out why; it’s stacked with creators behind some of the most loved classics in gameing – Fallout, Psychonauts, Baldur’s Gate among them. The site even takes its name from the Hotel Figuroa in LA, where game developers usually stay during E3. At the bottom of the list you’ll find the venerable Tim Shafer, whose current project is the similarly-funded Broken Age.
At its core, Fig operates the same as other crowdfunding websites; regular people can contribute dollar amounts to help get a game funded and the more they contribute the more they are rewarded as they move up a “reward ladder”.
For Outer Wilds the minimum contribution is $20 (R258) for a digital copy of the game and access to a newsletter, but you can donate up to $10 000 (R128 000) for an invitation to the launch party and an “Astronomy Outing”.
Those who pledge are called supporters, but Fig has a new system for those who want to be investors. As with any business trading its wrought with stipulations, but it boils down to this: if you have a net worth of $1 million (R13 million) you can chip in (a minimum of) $1 000(R13 000) in exchange for a certain amount of the game’s revenue.
Fig says they’re working on bringing in investors who don’t boast a net worth of $1 million, but for now, that’s the starting point.
Fig is also going to be tightly curated; only two games will be available for funding every month, one from a major studio and one from a smaller, independent developer. Obsidian Entertainment, inXile Entertainment and Double Fine all have plans to pitch games at potential backers on Fig.
We’re intrigued by Fig; we hope the tighter control of the platform will lead to more games making it to market. Right now Outer Wilds is $65 000(R840 000) and thirty days from being successfully funded on the new site.
We are, as ever, hesitant, especially with the money-black hole that is Broken Age.
[Via – Tech Crunch]