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New Game Industry Crowdsourced Funding Site Launches
New Game Industry Crowdsourced Funding Site Launches
January 25, 2011 | By Leigh Alexander

January 25, 2011 | By Leigh Alexander
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"Crowdsourced" funding, where creators of all stripes solicit donations from users to back their projects, has shown great promise for the game industry: Fundraising site Kickstarter has helped fans fully support projects like the Kill Screen game magazine, the Babycastles indie game arcade in New York, and the text adventures of popular designer Andrew Plotkin, to name just a few.

Now there's a crowd-funding home specifically for "anybody who has anything to do with the gaming industry," in its own words: The new organization is called 8-Bit Funding, and it's launched to the public via a new website.

Like Kickstarter, developers or other project founders list the project they're hoping to have funded, and offer their users "perks" as small rewards or incentives for certain-sized donations. Projects are funded by PayPal, says the site.

The main benefit of 8-Bit Funding is intended to be the specificity of the site; the idea is that gamers, or those most passionate about funding gaming-related projects, are more likely to visit a site devoted only to that space.

"With 8-Bit Funding you don't have to jump through legal hoops, or try and convince a group of stuffy old suits that your project will earn them back their money," explains the company on its site. "8-Bit Funding is purely about one enthusiast helping to fund another enthusiast's project."

8-Bit Funding does charge a 5 percent base-line fee to use it (as do other crowd-funding sites), and PayPal will also take its customary 2.9 percent plus 30 cents per transaction. As with similar services project-holders may choose between giving donors their perks or refunding the money if they don't meet a certain "grace period" amount.

Initial projects available to be funded include Excruciating Guitar Voyage 2, The Bookkeeper, One-Eyed Monsters, Cardinal Quest, Dreamcasters' Duel, Kung Fu Kingdom and Galactic Adventures, all of which are games seeking funding amounts ranging from $1,000 to $20,000.


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Comments


Maurício Gomes
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D:



Gamasutra is even mentioning the games there, and my game still is failing to air (site is slightly buggy :/)

Tim Carter
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Be wary of this. There is already a "crowdfunding" system in place. It's called the stock market. And it's regulated very heavily (by the SEC and so on) because there is a great potential for abuse.



As soon as you go out on the Internet soliciting to the general public for investment, you are basically engaged in "public funding", and this is properly the domain of those various stock markets, and thus heavily regulated.



A lot of this web-based solicitation is happening on places such as LinkedIn, and you just have to be careful.



Now if these are just "donations", well that's one thing. But given that there are "perks" and "rewards", will the regulatory bodies view these as "investments"? Who knows?



I think that there could be more effective ways to get funding. Such as implementing more robust techniques of project-based investment. (Games are now funded according to an operations-based system, which I think doesn't really fit them. That is parties invest in the game companies, not the games.)

Maurício Gomes
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But how you attract traditional investors in cases like mine? I have no money, no budget, no past products, no fame, no team, no equipment (I am asking money to buy a Mac so I can make Mac OS builds), no portfolio.



The only thing I have is the game itself, that is half done.

Simon Telford
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"Games are now funded according to an operations-based system, which I think doesn't really fit them. That is parties invest in the game companies, not the games."

The main reason behind this (in traditional mainstream dev at least, indie games, which this site focuses on may be slightly different) is common code, technology, knowledge and assets between titles. Unlike films (or similar) - development doesn't start from 'scratch' on each subsequent title a company works on, but usually begins on the back of the progress from the previous title.

Tim Carter
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So.



You could do this in a project-based manner. You just move out the tech IP as a separate SPV (special purpose vehicle company).



Besides, it's 2011, not 1995. Tech is becoming commoditized.

Simon Telford
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Sure, but I was making the point historically. The way it is currently is, due to those reasons. There'd have to be great potential benefit gained in order to give motivation for restructuring.

Mark Venturelli
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"Hi, my name is Tim Carter and I shall beat on my dead horse like a crazed priest on every opportunity I have".



Please stay on-topic. Crowd-funding is very interesting, it works, and it's a very good option for very small projects. I hope that good things come out of this new site.

Tim Carter
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Who's beating on a dead horse here? You seem to have a personal vendetta.



Why is it so important to you? What do you care? Are you personally invested in the status quo? Do you own shares in EA or Activision or something?

Mark Venturelli
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Because this topic is about crowd-funding, not you.



Also, I am a crusader against dumb.

Tim Carter
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You're the one making it "about me".



My first comment was on a very real issue with crowdsourcing. It's likely public financing. Public financing is heavily regulated. And for a reason.

Mark Venturelli
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"Games are now funded according to an operations-based system, which I think doesn't really fit them. That is parties invest in the game companies, not the games."



Plus Jon's reply, plus your reply to Jon's reply. All of those belong to your recent article.



But I must apologise to you, I was kind of a dick about your very first post, it was good. Until the last paragraph, that is, but I understand you just can't resist it =)

Jeffrey Crenshaw
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Tim's replies are both on topic and reflecting of his personal views. It's possible to have both. What's wrong with that? Even though I don't always agree with him, I want there to see more adamancy about improving this industry. Too many people just say "yep, crunch sucks, we're underpaid, there's no more creativity, etc" at lunch or the water cooler and then go right back to work feeling helpless. How are things going to ever improve if all we are is united in silence?



Heck, I want to see more rallying to improve this industry even if it's off topic, in every article I read.

Soren Nowak
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Probably the best thing for small developers that could happen... I really believe this could change the startup and indie scene.

Westall Frank
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I have to agree with the whole concept of crowd-funding. Having been involved in games since before Wolfenstein 3D. For the most part I have always had to go to the traditional investor. This is usually a long and for the most part unsuccessful path to take. Most funding sources will not fund unless the project is finished or even making money. However with the advent of text or social games and "virtual items" or donations, the playing field is changing. Now if you can present your idea properly and you know how to work into your social network, you can potentially raise 10's of Thousands of dollars for a project. Why wouldn't people place a dollar or five into your project after all they put millions into "feeding their pig".


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