One of the best things about Kickstarter is the culture that’s been encouraged by the website, letting small companies and indie studios make big-budget projects. But as usual, someone wants to ruin a good thing.
According to Obsidian Entertainment CEO Feargus Urquhart, his own team was the target of solicitation, with “some publishers” approaching them to do Kickstarter projects:
We were actually contacted by some publishers over the last few months that wanted to use us to do a Kickstarter. I said to them “So, you want us to do a Kickstarter for, using our name, we then get the Kickstarter money to make the game, you then publish the game, but we then don’t get to keep the brand we make and we only get a portion of the profits” They said, “Yes”.
Although Feargus isn’t naming any names, it’s an interesting tale that just shows how far some major publishers are willing to go in order to get to consumers on a base level—if it weren’t so underhanded, it would be brilliant.
Actually, no—it’s still pretty brilliant.
Obsidian Entertainment most recently made waves on Kickstarter thanks to the success of Project Eternity—a party-based RPG that achieved $1.69 million dollars in funding from 41,479 backers in just a matter of days. There’s almost a month left in their Kickstarter run, too, which is good news for everyone looking forward to the stretch goals.
Don’t expect this trend to go away. If publishers like Ubisoft, EA, Zynga, Activision, Microsoft, or anyone else can use Kickstarter to fund their projects, they definitely will—not only could it save them tons of money, but it also generates word-of-mouth buzz early into development and guarantees an exact install base of users right out of the gate.