Fallout, Double Fine Vets Want to "Re-Invent" How Games Get Funded

New crowdfunding platform specifically for games to offer equity to backers.

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First there was Kickstarter and now, from a team of gaming veterans, there is Fig.

A new crowdfunding platform, Fig aims to differentiate itself from Kickstarter and "re-invent how games get funded" in a couple of key ways. First, the platform is targeting only video games, unlike Kickstarter, which hosts campaigns for all manner of projects ranging from a Reading Rainbow revival to exploding kittens to potato salad. This isn't a problem per se, but Fig thinks it can do better focusing only on games.

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The other unique element of Fig is that it's being called "investment crowdfunding." When Oculus VR raised millions for their Rift headset and then sold to Facebook for billions, backers of the original Kickstarter campaign didn't get to enjoy the upside of its financial success because they didn't have equity.

But that potentially changes with Fig, as the company hopes to offer equity in the near future.

"Investment crowdfunding is currently limited to accredited investors only, but pursuant to a recent regulatory development, Fig plans to open up investment opportunities to everyone in the near future," the company said in a news release.

Investors will be putting their money into a "production company created exclusively for that title. Fig's production company holds exclusive distribution rights to the title, while the developer retains the title's IP rights."

There will be rewards-only Fig campaigns, too, which do not offer equity. Another important piece to note is that Fig will host just one campaign at a time (more details on its first game are available below).

Fig was able to get off the group through an investment by Spark Capital, a venture capital firm that previously invested in big-name companies such as Oculus, Twitter, and Slack.

The advisory board of Fig is comprised of gaming veterans, including Feargus Urquhart (Obsidian Entertainment), Brian Fargo (inXile Entertainment), and Tim Schafer (Double Fine)--all of whom are crowdfunding veterans. Each will hear game pitches for Fig and provide advice and mentorship to developers using the platform. These men will also launch new projects from Obsidian, inXile, and Double Fine through Fig, though they were not announced.

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"Feargus, Tim, and I have all experienced the many challenges of bringing our games to market and nurturing great talent along the way," Fargo said. “We're proud to be creating an ecosystem that better supports developers and their fans in the quest to bring their passion projects to life--and we believe Fig will become the best option to get games funded in the future."

Fig also stresses that the funding process will only be the first step in a relationship with developers. The company plans to support successful games "through the entire life cycle."

The first game being funded through Fig is Outer Wilds, which won the Grand Prize and Excellence in Design awards at the 2015 Independent Games Festival earlier this year. The funding goal for this game will be $125,000, and development will be handled by Heroes actor Masi Oka's Mobius Digital studio.

Fig was created by former Double Fine COO Justin Bailey.

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