Taking a cue from the success seen by Unknown Worlds, independent developer Crate Entertainment has begun using preorders to partially fund the production of its upcoming action RPG Grim Dawn
In two posts on Grim Dawn
's official game website
, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based studio explained that it is opening early preorders for its game in order to ensure the project can remain independently funded. The group was inspired not only by Unknown Worlds' fan funding of Natural Selection 2
but by statements made last year by Valve's Gabe Newell, who advocated the idea of fans being "early investors"
in projects they are particularly anticipating.
(There's another somewhat obscure Unknown Worlds connection: Max McGuire, one of the studio's principals, served as lead engine programmer at Iron Lore, where he was instrumental in creating the underpinnings of the Titan Quest
Crate was founded by Arthur Bruno and Eric Campanella, formerly of now-defunct developer Iron Lore Entertainment, which released the well-reviewed 2006 PC action RPG Titan Quest
. In 2008, newly-formed Crate planned to develop a console RPG called Black Legion
, but an overall pullback on new project funding in the industry led the group to return to the area it knows best
: PC-exclusive, Diablo
-inspired action RPGs.
The "thematically darker" single- and multiplayer game has now been revealed to be Grim Dawn
, set in a Victorian-inspired age when a nearly-extinct human society is caught in the middle of a devastating conflict between warring races.
Crate doesn't shy away from the term "Diablo
clone" on its own website. The genre has received a bit of a boost in visibility in the years since Titan Quest
was released, in no small part due to the announcement of Blizzard's own constantly-delayed Diablo III
, as well as the recent success of Runic Games' Torchlight
launched at $20, and Crate is selling Grim Dawn
preorders for the same price, but it's also offering fans the chance to place a greater stake in the game. The preorder page
offers two higher contribution tiers: the $32 Epic Fan Edition, which confers beta test access, an in-game item, and a name in the game's credits, while the $48 Legendary Fan Edition adds alpha test access to that package (along with "holy reverence" on the part of the team).
All preorder customers will immediately receive a key to download the game upon its planned "early 2011" release.