If you don’t follow gaming or digital news at all or if you still use an abacus in lieu of a digital calculator, then maybe you haven’t heard about Double Fine’s massively successful Kickstarter campaign. However most of you have likely heard about it, and if you’ve been sitting there wondering whether or not to pledge to Double Fine’s newest adventure title, you only have a few hours left to do so. If you don’t though it doesn’t matter, they’ve raised enough to make Day of the Tentacle, which cost $600,000, five times over. To be honest, I would be cool with 5 more versions of Day of the Tentacle.
We’ve covered Double Fine’s Kickstarter since it began over a month ago, so there’s no point in belaboring the details. Suffice it to say it was a success and they’ve raised over $3 million to fund their unannounced adventure title. In the last few weeks pledges for this project have begun to dwindle a bit, but as the end approaches it looks as if eager fans are going to give the campaign one last burst of cash.
While the campaign officially ends at 8pm EST, the last two hours will be live-streamed here at 6pm EST this evening. You might catch some of that unique Double Fine comedy if you tune in tonight, as has been the case with their video updates on the Kickstarter site. Either way, tonight’s celebration is the end of nothing, it’s simply the beginning of a new chapter in game development. Now that they have raised the cash, Double Fine’s fundraising experiment will have to turn into an actual game.
A game we may not have to wait forever for. Listed below the pledge rewards on their Kickstarter page is a “delivery date” of October 2012. This leads me to believe that they either already know what they are making or they are the most efficient developer ever, making a $3M game from scratch in under seven months. Now, it’s an adventure game, so development will most likely not be as heavy as other larger multi-million dollar titles, but still, seven months would be impressive.
There’s no guarantee though, that “delivery date” of October 2012 may have been set before all of their wild success, which may or may not have changed the size and scope of the game. Currently however, there is no information challenging this release date, at least none that I can find.
Overall this is great news for developers and really bad news for publishers. Unless this is a fluke, and it doesn’t appear to be, more developers are going to cut out publishers and big company funding for this new type of grassroots fundraising. Combine this with the growth of digital distribution and you have a perfect storm for the growth of independent developers. If publishers fail to adapt, can they continue to do business the old fashioned way?
UPDATE: Since I posted this 3 hours ago, Double Fine’s Kickstarter has raised almost $200K, with 45 minutes to go it looks like they may come closer to $3.5 million. Wow.