Will crowdfunding ever replace publishers are the predominant source of game-funding?
Let's face it. Making a computer game isn't cheap.
The cost of salaries. The cost of licencing techology. The long development cycle. Rents. Equipment. The lead developer dying in a car crash. All of it adds up. If we go by kickstarter crowdfunded games, development typically starts at a quarter of a million dollars, and only spirals up from there. Hence the publisher. The guy with the money, the guy who can make dreams happen. Of course, only if those dreams happen to make the right margins. Only if your studio continues to be profitable, each and every game you turn out. Hence crowdfunding. For people that don't want the all-strings-attached rules of the publisher. But for every game that gets crowdfunded, many more don't precicely because they are so expensive to make. So, the question I ask is will publishers remain the primary source of funding for many of our games not only today, but going into the future or will crowdfunding slowly edge out the publisher?
I think crowdfunding will take root and keep going as a publishing model, but I'm not convinced that it will ever fully replace traditional publishers. Just as there's a demand for indie games with new ideas that big publishers would never take a chance on, there will probably always be a demand for giant A-list games with graphics and whatnot that the indie guys can rarely match.
If you look at the print industry, the big publishers there are still around as well, despite competition from digital media and all the ways that new authors can self-publish now.
I just cant wait for someone to do a crowd-funded Call of Duty game. Show that you can make that kind of game for <£1m!
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