Sid Meier cautious about Kickstarter

Civilization designer says he is uncomfortable with locking into design choices from the get-go, praises 2K Games for handling business end so he can focus on good game design.

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Kickstarter has attracted a host of industry veterans like Richard Garriott, Tim Schafer, American McGee, Chris Roberts, and Chris Avellone, but not all noted designers are on-board with the crowd-funding platform.

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Speaking with Games Industry International, Civilization designer Sid Meier said he's not likely to launch a Kickstarter project anytime soon because he is uncomfortable with being locked into design choices early on.

"You've got to convince people to support it and create trailers or whatever it takes to get the support. I think you kind of lock yourself into a lot of ideas early," Meier said. "I really enjoy the luxury of changing my design and evolving over time."

"I'd be a little concerned with Kickstarter if I committed to X, Y, and Z and I found out down the road that Z didn't work very well, I kind of promised to do this," he added. "I think it's great for people who want that indie environment, but there are advantages and disadvantages to each situation."

Meier currently heads up development at 2K Games subsidiary Firaxis Games and recently released free-to-play iOS game Ace Patrol, which he designed alone. Meier explained that by working with a publisher, he is able to focus on game design while 2K Games handles the business end.

"They do all the stuff I don't want to do; they allow me to make games and really focus on that part of what it takes to get a game out there. I get to design games, I get to program games, I get to work with the artists and the sound guys and do the fun stuff," Meier said.

"They worry about testing it and publishing it and promoting it and selling it--whatever it takes to do that I would be really bad at, they do," he added. "So more power to Chris Roberts and the Kickstarter, but having a great publisher is a real asset and allows me to focus on the things that I can do and not worry about all the other stuff that needs to be worried about."

According to data released by Kickstarter in January, games drew more than $83 million in 2012, higher than any other category on the funding platform.

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