Obsidian CEO says Kickstarter lets devs build brands

Kickstarter lets developers build their own brands in an industry dominated by multi-million dollar expenditures, according to Obsidian Entertainment CEO Feargus Urquhart. GamesIndustry International interviewed Urquhart about his company's successful Kickstarter for Project Eternity, a revival of PC RPGs like Baldur's Gate and Planescape: Torment.

"[W]e're getting the opportunity to go build a brand, and it's a brand that we own," Urquhart said. "And that's what changes the power a little bit. Now I have a game that we're going to go make, and I have a brand. And I own that brand. And it's now something that if I go talk to a publisher to talk about doing something different with a brand … they're not going to get to own that brand."

Urquhart said the crowdfunding platform would not be as useful for breaking into the extremely expensive AAA console game market. Instead, developers can use the platform to generate their own ideas directed toward more specific audiences.

Project Eternity will be a major project, he said, but it will be distributed digitally only on PC, Mac, and Linux — no tablets or consoles. This, and its devotion to a seemingly forgotten subsection of games, put it in what he called a "no man's land" for traditional publishing avenues.

Though the crowdfunding model may seem to clash with established methods, Urquhart said Kickstarter could ultimately be a win-win for publishers and developers willing to look at more progressive models of ownership.

"It's pretty scary when you're a publisher and you have to fund games because that's what you need to go ship. But now maybe some titles can come to you secondarily, or for distribution, or something like that where you don't have to worry about a cash outlay so much."

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  • Viron - September 25, 2012 8:48 a.m.

    I still have no fucking idea what this game is about.
  • PureSophistry - September 24, 2012 10:19 p.m.

    Here is out extended interview:
  • ParagonT - September 24, 2012 4:47 p.m.

    Kickstarter is a good thing in certain aspects, but it defers developer/entrepreneur responsibility and the such in a way that if the developer falls, only we pay the price and if the developer succeeds, they gain all the after KS profit and support for the duration of development. Which is a good thing for them, but sometimes it could be misused and not give back to the community that practically sponsored you. Kickstarter is good with limitation, but not something that should be overly used.
  • RedOutlive. - September 25, 2012 8:44 a.m.

    Agreed. There will be a failure in those game Kickstarters sooner or later due to mismanagement or something else and then people will realize it's not all without problems.

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