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Why Indie Fund is backing an XBLA flop
Why Indie Fund is backing an XBLA flop
September 4, 2012 | By Tom Curtis

September 4, 2012 | By Tom Curtis
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    7 comments
More: Console/PC, Indie, Business/Marketing



Indie Fund, a group of independent developers that offers "angel"-style funding to other indie game makers, has decided to back The Splatters, an unusual puzzle game that failed to find an audience when it launched on XBLA in April.

Developer Spiky Snail is now revising the game and bringing it to Windows, Mac, and Linux, and Indie Fund believes that these new, updated versions could help the studio find real financial success.

Indie Fund's decision to back The Splatters is a bit usual for the group, as it has previously backed games like Dear Esther and Q.U.B.E. before their initial debuts. As Indie Fund says on its official blog, backing a port of a game that didn't make money isn't typically a smart investment.

But the group believes The Splatters is different. Indie Fund says Spiky Snail has learned from its mistakes on XBLA, and is showing enough promise with its updated ports that Indie Fund has decided to try something new.

While The Splatters marks a departure from Indie Fund's typical funding strategy, the group says it represents exactly what the Indie Fund was created to support: "promising teams with low overhead who are focused on design."

If The Splatters succeeds, the game would also help prove one of the Indie Fund's driving philosophies -- that focusing on design can play a key role in a game's financial performance.

Indie Fund was founded in 2010 by independent developers such as Braid creator Jonathan Blow, thatgamecompany co-founder Kellee Santiago, Capy's Nathan Vella, among others.


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Comments


Sven Bergstrom
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Sensational titles much?

Super glad to hear about the ports for this!

Guy IL
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Exactly. Is there any indication even that The Splatters was, in fact, a flop?

E McNeill
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I hope that Indie Fund will eventually release some stats indicating the return on its investments. I love that it is not primarily focused on maximizing returns, but it *is* partially meant to show that this atypical funding can be viable. If they do well, they ought to brag about it.

Lisa Brown
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They're generally very open with that sort of stuff on their blog, and with Q.U.B.E. and Dear Esther they posted at what points the games recouped their investments and became profitable (in the case of Dear Esther, it took about 5 hours)

http://indie-fund.com/2012/02/dear-esther-has-reached-profitabili
ty-it-took-5-hours-30-minutes/

http://indie-fund.com/2012/01/q-u-b-e-recoups-investment/

E McNeill
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That's true, and I should have given them credit for that. I was referring specifically to lifetime returns, not just time-until-profitability. Under their new system, if I understand correctly, that could just be an announcement when they've doubled their investment.

Eric Feliu
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I tried the demo for the splatters when it was on sale recently on XBox Live. The game was very underwhelming in my opinion. I suppose if there are big changes to the gameplay it could only get better.

Lex Allen
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Well, it's very World of Goo-ish. I wouldn't be surprised if the WOG guys were pushing the title. It seems strange since there are tons of what would seem more commercially viable products out there right now.


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