Feb. 9, 2012 at 5:27 PM ET
For years, Tim Schafer fans have asked the beloved game designer to revisit his roots, the point and click adventure genre (past hits include "Monkey Island" and "Grim Fandango"). Last night, Schafer and his company Double Fine announced plans to do just that. Instead of going through the traditional route of dealing with a publisher however, the team turned to Kickstarter to finance the project.
The goal of $400,000 was met in exactly 8 hours and 11 minutes, and at the moment this report is being filed, it is fifty thousand dollars short of reaching one million.
Since then, the Kickstarter page has been updated to state that the additional funds will help make the game bigger and better, as well as fund an accompanying documentary by 2 Player Productions, the same filmmakers putting together a similar behind-the- scenes look at "Minecraft." And the previously PC-only title might make its way onto other platforms. In the following video, Schafer explains why he went with crowdfunding through Kickstarter:
Many are heralding Double Fine's success as a significant milestone in the world of game business. Numerous small-scale projects have been funded via the same method, mostly for iOS. This marks the first time an established creator with such a successful track record turned towards consumers directly.
In the process, Schafer has also undermined the conventional wisdom that governs traditional game publishing today. There are countless of examples of specific titles and genres ignored by the powers that be, despite a very vocal demand among customers. At last, gamers are getting what they, not the publishers, want.
Happiest of all are independent game makers, many of whom flat-out refuse to deal with the status quo (and vice versa). Schafer's success demonstrates that a non-traditional method of game production can indeed work. As Schafer also states on the Double Fine blog:
That’s all there is to it! Think it will work? I hope so, because I would rather work directly for the fans than for anyone else. If the Double Fine Kickstarter Adventure is a success, it could open the doors for all sorts of new funding possibilities, and all kinds of new games that could never happen in the old system. So basically I’m just talking about changing the entire world forever for the better. And getting a game out of it.
Matthew Hawkins is an NYC-based game journalist who has also written for EGM, GameSetWatch, Gamasutra, Giant Robot, and numerous others. He also self-publishes his own game culture zine, is part of Attract Mode, and co-hosts The Fangamer Podcast. You can keep tabs on him via Twitter, or his personal home-base, FORT90.com.