Valve boss Gabe Newell has been discussing ideas for alternative game funding, suggesting that "financing from the community" to make games is something he's "super interested in" right now.
Talking to Australian TV show Good Game
, as passed on by
game site Destructoid, Newell, who is co-founder and CEO of the Half-Life
creator and Steam service provider, discussed the concept of community financing.
He noted: "Right now, what typically happens is you have this budget -- it needs to be huge, it has to be $10m - $30m, and it has to be all available at the beginning of the project. There's a huge amount of risk associated with those dollars and decisions have to be incredibly conservative.:
Newell continued: "What I think would be much better would be if the community could finance the games. In other words, 'Hey, I really like this idea you have. I'll be an early investor in that and, as a result, at a later point I may make a return on that product, but I'll also get a copy of that game.'"
The Valve boss concluded: "So move financing from something that occurs between a publisher and a developer... Instead, have it be something where funding is coming out of [a] community for games and game concepts they really like."
Such concepts are starting to mature in the game space. In particular, Gamasutra recently interviewed
Perry Chen about his firm Kickstarter, which provides an easy to use, formalized structure for donation-based art projects of all kinds, including games.
In addition, indie game developer Daniel Benmergui (Today I Die
) "is pursuing a variable patronage model for his next game" on his website -- with different amounts of donations giving rewards spanning from a mention in the game's credits to a customized version of Daniel's previous games.