Brian Fargo: Don’t Make Your First Game on Kickstarter

Brian Fargo is nothing if not an expert on crowdfunding. With two successful Kickstarter projects on his roster, the founder of inXile and producer of Wasteland 2 had plenty of wisdom to offer game developers who are making the consideration of turning to Kickstarter to fund their projects.

“There are so many variables that come into play when launching a Kickstarter campaign but the concept and credibility play the two biggest roles,” said Fargo, who attributes much of the success of his Kickstarters—Wasteland 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera to their concepts and the credibility of his studio.

“It is highly doubtful that I would have had any success had I launched a mobile derivative of Angry Birds as there is little demand for that,” he said. “I spent quite a bit of time talking with Chris Taylor through his campaign [Wildman] and I felt that it wasn’t Chris that failed but the concept. Kickstarter was doing its job in vetting out unpopular concepts and I bet Chris would be successful with another idea if he ever pursued it again.”

“I also don’t believe that Kickstarter is the place to make your first game. I think developers need to prove they can finish a game or at least get it to beta, even if the games are small in scope. I don’t think it’s a good idea to try and learn the ropes on the crowds money.”

Fargo had much more to say about Wasteland 2, his experiences with Kickstarter, and the state of the game industry, in Game Front’s exclusive interview with the man.

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3 Comments on Brian Fargo: Don’t Make Your First Game on Kickstarter

GarynDakari

On April 25, 2013 at 9:26 pm

Wise words. Many, many people underestimate just how much work making a game is(Myself included), then they get everyone hyped up with some really early stuff and a lot of great ideas, but ultimately can’t see it through.

Luckily in my case it was just a mod, not a videogame, so no money was ever involved. But I did let a lot of people down after I couldn’t finish it :(

Drizzt

On April 27, 2013 at 4:10 am

Yes, wise words. As KS is based on trust, it’s hard(er) for investors to believe in an inexperienced team than in a team who already delivered lots of – in this instance – games.

Wrt to Wildman: there are/were other games in that space, which might have contributed to the failure (I don’t need the nth iteration of something). That could also prove to be a problem for e.g. the currently running “Jagged Alliance: Flashback” Kickstarter ([0]). And the studio behind this campaign is also not that well-known. Still, I hope they succeed in bringing back a game close to the classic Jagged Alliance games. Maybe Brian Fargo’s endorsement [1] helps…

[0] http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2079547763/jagged-alliance-flashback0
[1] https://twitter.com/BrianFargo/status/326712383127048192

Drizzt

On April 27, 2013 at 4:12 am

Ahrg, the Kickstarter link is broken, the “0″ at the end is superfluous. You can just use http://kck.st/11y3qKL instead