Double Fine's Broken Age Will Probably Break Even, Studio Head Says

Game development is expensive.


Developer Double Fine's latest adventure game, Broken Age, had a very successful Kickstarter campaign, raising over $3.3 million. But the game quickly became more expensive than that during development, and Double Fine had to put a lot more money into it.

Now, a couple months after Broken Age Act 2's release, the studio has revealed that the game is on track to just barely make back that money.

In the final installment of the Broken Age development documentary (which you can watch above), studio head Tim Schafer explained that the cost to make the game far exceeded the amount that the Kickstarter brought in. This resulted in Schafer and his team having to shift his expectations and predict that the game wouldn't turn a profit.

"My expectation with Broken Age in the end was just to break even," he said in the video. "With Kickstarter, the risk is gone of losing money on it, so you know you've broken even if you just make the game to that amount of money. But we made it [for], like, twice as much almost as we got in. Or more. So we will just about make that back."

But even though Broken Age won't be a huge financial success, Schafer said that crowdfunding was a good experience and it allowed Double Fine to make games without turning to publishers. "The biggest change is that we don't need the publishers anymore," he explained. "It used to be [that there was] no money in the world outside of publishers, and I think crowdfunding is here to stay, I think it's hopefully going to grow. In my dream world it would be big enough to fund AAA games and it would be the way we fund all games going forward."

Broken Age Act 2 launched in April, more than a year after the first act. The studio split the game into two parts and sold the first half to help fund development of the second. You can read our review of Act 1 here and Act 2 here.

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