Obsidian eyeing crowd funding via Kickstarter

Fallout, Alpha Protocol developer calls Double Fine's success "inspiring," asks community what it would like to see funded.

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Last week, Double Fine made waves when its Adventure Game campaign broke records through crowd-funding service Kickstarter. Now that tide is pulling in other developers, as Obsidian Entertainment is also exploring the possibility of crowd funding a game.

Could Alpha Protocol 2 happen?

Writing on the Obsidian forums, studio creative director Chris Avellone called Double Fine's success "inspiring" and said "player-supported funding is proof certain genres aren't dead and sequels may have more legs than they seem."

Avellone added that, "The idea of not having to argue that with a publisher is appealing."

Finally, Avellone asked the community what it would want to see funded, should Obsidian move forward with a Kickstarter campaign.

Responding to questions on Twitter, Avellone said "I'm down" when asked about using Kickstarter to develop an "old school" isometric role-playing game. He responded again with "I'm down" to requests to build a "classic RPG."

According to a new update from Avellone on Twitter, he is now sorting through the submissions and will have an update on the prospect of a Kickstarter program at Obsidian "soon."

Obsidian is presently working on the South Park role-playing game, which will be published by THQ. That game will ship for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC during the back half of 2012.

Discussion

104 comments
Luminious0
Luminious0

I would donate to this cause if they can bring back a game that is like Baldur's Gate 2, Icewind Dale, etc..

another_drew
another_drew

So my question is this. If we, the gaming community, are not happy with our product as whole, would we be able to in turn take restitution for said product?

blackace
blackace

I doubt Obsidian would do as well as Double Fine with Kickstarter. I guess it would defend on what kind of game they made. I would like to see the South Park RPG get completed however. That's probably the only thing I would support. I would gladly donate $15 - $30 toward that, especially if I get a free digital copy of the game. I don't think other companies should go over board with the kickstarter projects. Sure Double Fine did an awesome job, but they are a well respected developer and have proven themselves in the past. Now if Level 5 needs funding to continue the "True Fantasy Live Online" game for the NextBox, I'd gladly donate funds to that project. Even a new JRPG IP would be fine by me.

smerlus
smerlus

I'll happily donate a few hundred to these guys to make a classic RPG.

mhaed
mhaed

@dude976 I'm sorry my opinion doesn't float your boat buddy.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

@Valen_Ca Nah that's fair enough, if there's a real reward in it for the investors then that's fine. My only thought is that companies in general may start to abuse this.. Ask the fans for cash in advance and then produce a mediocre game. @Zero2545 Spot on.

ZeRo2545
ZeRo2545

Great. Now in about 3 years, every developer in the world is going to start asking for handouts they don't need just so they can have higher quarterly earnings. Then when the game doesn't sell good, it won't be because of piracy anymore, it will be "We didn't raise enough funds to make it great".

darkcomedian
darkcomedian

Oh man, this is totally gonna become a thing now isn't it? Good luck raising enough money that you need to make such huge games, Obsidian. As a side note, the prospect of an old-school isometric RPG is a great idea, and one worth paying attention to, in my view.

rpgnutt
rpgnutt

i would love to c thief come back to glory nd if anybody can do it i think obsidean could.i mean they brung u FO3 which is one of the best games ever.with a little help from bethesda it could really work.

Batata-Macabra
Batata-Macabra

Planescape 2. Been dreaming about it all these years; never an RPG has been as creative, intelligent and well written as PS Torment. I will certainly help fund anything that comes close to it. Period.

ShaineTheNerd
ShaineTheNerd

I'd love to see an Alpha Protocol 2. The first one was great.

Agent-M
Agent-M

Kick-starters are a great way to show a company that there is interest in a particular LP that they would normally ignore. But the best use of them is by a small company or Indie developer who would normally not have access to such funds to create games.

macca366
macca366

Wouldn't mind Ubisoft or Michael Ancel trying a kick-starter project for that Beyond Good & Evil sequel..

Hirasugi
Hirasugi

The difference in this case is that they simply don't have the standard of quality that demands fan dollars before development. This is why I was secretly cursing at Double-Fine's success. True, good for them, and they completely deserve it. But now less reputable, less polished, and less creative game developers will now hold off IP and sequels to lukewarm series if they aren't financially backed at a certain amount. It largely devolves into holding your most die-hard fans hostage, which is a horrid business practice. Alternatively these sequels may not have been made to begin with. But if they were already...hmm This is looking ugly

sladakrobot
sladakrobot

Alpha Protocol was great.Never experienced a bug or such(X360).Controls was too sensitive.For a sequel i wish more ways to interact with NPC's outside of your campaign. Special wish:HD remake of X-Com:Enemy Unknown sold with a X360 compatible mouse :)

raahsnavj
raahsnavj

When I think Obsidian, I think "rushed Kotor 2". I would like a classic RPG, parties of 5 or more characters, turn based, with a good plot, but with Obsidian at the helm I'm afraid it would be half-baked.

Hurvl
Hurvl

Kotor 3 or Alpha Protocol 2 is my wish, though a lot of people would like to see them create a Planescape Torment 2.

Valen_Ca
Valen_Ca

@warhawk-geeby It's not charity with most Kickstarter projects either, for most donations you do get something in return, usually starting with a free copy of whatever it is you are contributing towards.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

Alpha Protocol was one of the most under-rated games of this gen. It may have lacked a bit of polish, but it was brilliant. I'm not for funding studios whilst they work though.. Seems a bit of a cheeky business ploy if you ask me :? Every other business in the world borrows from the banks if they're short of cash, and if you can't afford it in the long run you have to make do. Developing games isn't a charity, it's a business.

Spartan_418
Spartan_418

How about an HD remake of Morrowind? It would be guaranteed to sell well, given Skyrim's success. I've really wanted to find the motivation to play Morrowind recently, but the terrible graphics, combat, lack of physics, and lack of spoken dialogue make it feel hideously dated compared to recent games I wouldn't even care how buggy it is, as long as the graphics and gameplay systems are up-to-date and don't suck

NeoJ4K3
NeoJ4K3

Killer Instinct 3 Kickstart. Someone call RARE

TehUndeadHorror
TehUndeadHorror

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

strawhat1987
strawhat1987

I sure hope this news makes its way to Kojima, I want to see that project that Konami turned down.

Madball357
Madball357

I'd love to play an isometric, turn-based, futuristic cyberpunk RPG made by them.

iowastate
iowastate

Alpha Protocol wasn't terrible but it wasn't really good enough that I want to see a sequel.

SlowMotionKarma
SlowMotionKarma

Sorry Obsidian, but I really wouldn't support you. Most of your stuff is mediocre sequels, and the one "original IP" (Alpha Protocol) you made was quite terrible. Outside of Planescape: Torment, what have you? Knights of the Old Republic 2? Shadow of the brilliance of BioWare's KOTOR1. Neverwinter Nights 2? Shadow of the brilliance of BioWare's Neverwinter Nights 1. Icewind Dale was big on action, lacking in everything else. Please, IF you get funded, make your own game, not some sequel to another classic because they never live up to the original and end up leaving a sour taste in my mouth.

margevich
margevich

I'd like to see funded.. my a$$.

jstowers
jstowers

If they have an amount that has to be reached that will make the project viable, and if the $ doesn't reach it, your donation is refunded (or is that how it works.. I don't know - haven't used it before), I it worked like that, then I would back all sorts of games with $10-$15 donations... that would shape the industry to exactly what you want out of gaming.. brilliant!

ALLoY1717
ALLoY1717

I don't see this funding tactic working twice in such a short time frame.

thatguy_b
thatguy_b

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

baal46
baal46

I'd back Baldur's Gate 3, or a similar CRPG.

Nic345
Nic345

Ask and you shall receive. As long as you're open to input , wallets will open.

mbashour
mbashour

awesome they're taking input. but they might make a better game if the developers themselves are interested with the topic instead of it just being what the gamers want. there will always be a new rpg/fps/rts from some company, so i say let them make what they're inspired to make.

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

Although I greatly appreciate Obsidian's asking for input from gamers, I think it's a bit more productive for the game makers to propose games they want to make and let gamers choose which ones to support, instead of asking everyone for ideas. That's a lot of info to sift through. A lot of it may be redundant. And some submissions will not conform to the studio's idea on the size of the project. On the other hand, once this first round of info has been digested, Obsidian may propose possible projects in greater detail. We just have to wait and see how this turns out. I hope it does well.

dude976
dude976

@lorider25 Pretty much every Kickstarter ever has the intended product for anyone who donates a certain amount, a lot of times at "early adopter" lower prices. Higher amounts will usually get swag, producer credits, cameos and occasionally some bonus ingame stuff. Also lunches with the 'faces' of the crew if you donate an absurdly large amount of money.

lorider25
lorider25

hmmm I wouldn't mind doing it for games I actually want to see like the guy said below: a new FFVII. I would also like to see a remake of Double Dragon. Yeah this thing could work, but does that mean that the people that donate still have to pay full price for the game when it comes out?

Naylord
Naylord

Hate to break it to you Obsidian but you guys just don't have the cred that Double Fine does to pull this off.

dude976
dude976

@NeilCardiff What? You linked an article that matter-of-factly stated that companies really don't owe us much, and can get away with what they want and a random blog debunking that article in the comments of a article about Obsidian, and you are literally changing your mind between posts. (I owe them nothing! I owe them as much as they owe me! I AM THE LAW!) So I'm going by your general arrogance, and your resorting to bypassing censor filters in order to enhance your petty belittling of other people's typing abilities. Reread your own posts if you have to, you either opened too vaguely and somehow thought not naming any names would point to someone in particular, or you are just asinine.

EvilEvilDave
EvilEvilDave

I'd need a new gaming experience (which DoubleFine is known for, and showed video implementation of what we would get... thus why I believe the kickstart worked)); not just another old-school RPG (I can download thousands of those).

NeilCardiff
NeilCardiff

@dude976 F@ck me another dunce that insists on reading things into my words that just aren't there.

dude976
dude976

@NeilCardiff Didn't you link an article "proving" that Obsidian didn't care about their fans that never said a word one about them? And I'd like to find out where the hell you've found a law that rigidly defines what constitutes a "faulty" /videogame./ Nobody is legally obligated to give your money back to you, fix bugs and inconsistencies, or indulge you in your personal fan wanking. If they were, no medium of entertainment would continue: people who didn't like movies, people who didn't pay attention to PC game requirements, even people who bought a thesaurus over a dictionary that they later found would not level one leg of their table could file civil suits. And frankly, your self-entitlement either fuels spite or discourages further work on their part. Who's really entitled, the guy who paid ~$60 (9 hours work in the US at minimum wage) to enjoy himself with something designed for entertainment, or the people who provide that entertainment - usually as a full-time and thankless job. 95% of the staff from a developer aren't going to become a huge name that everyone recognizes, they're just part of a brand. But they do it anyway, even if there are complete idiots that will try to destroy their spirits at every turn out there.

joder666
joder666

No surprising at all. What they see is simple: they'll pay for everything and we make millions. The good side of it, that's a window of hope for people wanting to see FF VII Remake come true or any alike, if big companies do things like this.

NeilCardiff
NeilCardiff

@parrot_of_adun I am always amazed by peoples ability to misrepresent and selectively quote others words in order to win a flawed argument. I consider quote mining the equivalent to lying and liars are as impassible to argue with as the worst trolls so I will not be replying to any more of your comments.

Elann2008
Elann2008

Alpha Protocol 2 and/or a new Vampire:TMB.

trust2112
trust2112

I would like someone to sue LucasArts and do a decent remake of Rogue Squadron AND X-Wing vs. Tie Fighters. Obviously George Lucas is too busy crying to the media about how Nerds are upset that he won't re-release any SW movies, as they were shown. If they can redo crappy movies, why can't they redo crappy games?

dude976
dude976

@mhaed I really wish people like you flat out did not exist. If Double Fine hadn't released their $90 in smaller games - all products of a not-so-tried-and-true "Brutal Legend was a complete flop, let's just make as many games as we can" development cycle - they would not be able to ask their fans for funding unless it was for Psychonauts 2. They wouldn't have been on most people's radar, and even a prospective sequel to Psychonauts might not have drummed up that much money. Obsidian isn't any less well intentioned than Double Fine - they just don't make XBLA/PSN/"indie" games since they were spun off from Interplay, and thus have absolutely no money to self-publish an attempt to get their feet off the ground for similar projects. The key staffers for both OE/DF have been around a long time, though, and both are at their best fulfilling a niche. But you can't live on developing niche titles exclusively if it's a genre that really doesn't get any new fans for lack of publisher demand.

hemoleech
hemoleech

How about just work on another Fallout game under Bethesda for now.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

@NeilCardiff Well then we have something in common. Re-read my post carefully. To say , but that they think, falsely, that they're the entitled ones (I have yet to figure out why you think this), and you therefore proclaim you in turn owe them nothing, as though shattering some sort of ancient treaty. -OR- Your post was arbitrary nonsense with a reference to a largely irrelevant article by eurogamer. Sorry, I chose the former. My ONLY opinions here are that neither we, nor developers owe anything beyond whatever exchange that occurs with a purchase, and that it would be favorable to see a nice old-school isometric RPG by obsidian (which would be a just cause for using kickstarter, no publisher would fund that). Obvious English comprehension issues my arse.