Finding Publishers for Ambitious Games Is Tough, Tim Schafer Shares His Story
Tim Schafer, the developer behind a highly ambitious project called Psychonauts 2, has shared his story. According to him, getting a publisher to back an ambitious game in our industry in thought as publishers are obstinate obstacles. They prefer going with tried and tested formulas rather than something different.
Tim Schafer’s Psychonauts 2 is now funded on Kickstarter now and development is underway without any hiccups. The game also received significant funding via investment-enabled platform Fig and other sources.
Schafer says such type of funding channels can enable ambitious games to be biggers with there scope. Game development can’t scale with crowdfunding alone, so different channels are welcomed.
It’s not like we’re making more profit because the profits are bigger, but we can do really ambitious games.
Tim pitched the game to publishers in 2011, many liked the idea but weren’t ready to fund the game at the scale devs wanted it to be. So different channels give developers the freedom they need.
We felt that we pieced it [Psychonauts 2’s budget] together by what we thought we could get from each source. And I think for a game like Psychonauts 2, there’s a certain amount you can get from each source.
A lot of my time was spent was spent thinking of ways making the person who gave us the money feel confident they weren’t going to lose that money.
Tim said he likes to “work with a certain amount of chaos, where I don’t know where things are going to land.”
I’m not saying they’re being evil or weird; if it were my money, I would want proof I wasn’t going to lose it, too.
He believes that the set-up being used by companies isn’t productive, but with crowdfunding they have the freedom to actually realize their vision; and do it in their own time and ways.
He shared the example of movies where fundings often come from different sources. These funds are pieced together and used to develop the project.
I think such a model should be considered by big time publishers and developers. It can prove to be highly productive and will ease the burden, while providing more freedom to developers.