Tim Schafer, Double Fine Studio owner, video game creator, legend. What this man has brought to the realm of video games is some of the greatest and most imaginative works I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing. The Secret of Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fandagno, Psychonauts, and Brutal Legend are just a few of his contributions to gaming. As of now he runs and develops for Double Fine Studios releasing smaller projects such as the adorable Halloween themed Costume Quest and the only game starring a complete cast of matryoshka dolls, Stacking. But for some reason, this proven game developer has lots of trouble finding funding to make his games come to life recently. No big publisher over the past decade gave him a fair shot and when E.A. finally did when they funded him for Brutal Legend they ended up screwing him over and suing him and his company. So he recently decided to try some alternative methods for getting his imagination funded, and boy did it work in spades.
Last week it was announced that he will be bringing a game fans (myself included) have been clamoring for since the second we finished the previous, Psychonauts 2. Through a Twitter post Tim Schafer found some funding from millionaire indie game developer Markus “Notch” Persson, creator of the smash hit Minecraft (which has a huge success story all of its own). Talk about unconventional. Then along with that news Mr. Schafer also hit headlines when he opened up a Kickstarter page to ask fans for funding to start developing another game they have been want him to make for ages (along with Tim himself). He was asking of his fans for money to go back to the type of games he loves making the most, point and click adventure games. Within 24 hours he was able to raise over $1.25 Million Dollars and it’s still growing rapidly!!! His goal to fund the project was only $400,000. No small achievement whatsoever. So, within 1 week, unintentionally and the only drive behind him was the passion to make video games, Tim Schafer may have hit the spark that may make some changes in the way big publishers such as E.A. and Activision think and what they think gamers want.
What he did is make the indie game scene even more viable and well know to those who are unaware of it. It has to get people thinking, “If this guy is generating millions of dollars on a game he hasn’t even started to make, why are all the big dogs sending him away?”, “What if there are other developers as talented as Tim and the publishers are sending him away into obscurity while they keep feeding me rehashes of the same basic game I’ve been playing for years?”, “If these indie guys are making games that average about 3/4ths the size of a big release and only charge$10-$20 why am I paying $60 for a game?” and so on and so forth. The big publishers should be very afraid of these questions, and I think with Tim’s recent success some action may be taken.
Will this end the reign of Call of Battlefield and other big budget blockbusters? No, certainly not. Gamers (myself included, sans COD) still want to play those. But what I think that we will see a rise of even more new I.P.’s and more indie games, developers, and publishers taking the forefront, and dare I say it, competing with the likes of E.A. and Activision. With a the exception of a good handful of sparkling gems, the big guys haven’t been delivering have become quite stale. Tim’s push looks to bring more creativity and originality into modern gaming and I can’t wait to see what comes of the gaming world over the next few years.
This also ties into the rise of digital distribution, but more on that later.
Peace Love and Metal!!!!
And here’s the link to the mentioned Kickstarter page if you would like to donate. If anything, watch the video, it’s really funny.