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44% of surveyed game developers plan to try crowdfunding
44% of surveyed game developers plan to try crowdfunding
March 1, 2013 | By Frank Cifaldi

Crowdfunding is in vogue among game developers this year, if the results of a recent survey are any indication.

The organizers of Gamasutra's sister show the Game Developers Conference recently surveyed 2,500 game developers -- all of whom either attended last year's show or plan on attending GDC 2013 later this month -- to find out more about their development practices and, hopefully, learn where the industry is headed.

The survey found that 44% of the respondents plan to crowdfund a game in the future, meaning the landscape could be getting even more crowded soon on services like Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

Only 8 percent of those surveyed have worked on a crowdfunded project, and only 4 percent said that crowds were their primary source of funding.

More results like these are available here.

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I'm shocked that only 44% of developers want free money with the only string attached being that they have to actually make the game they want to.

Maria Jayne
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There will always be people that need a reliable income, supporting a family, mortgaging a home, paying for a car etc. You can only be comfortable taking risks on your income when you're an individual. Soon as others rely on you, that steady income is a lot more attractive than the chance to make the game you've always dreamed about.

There is also the other point that if 100% wanted to make their own game, they would all be made by one person employing nobody. We need talented people willing to work on other peoples ideas, not everyone has the next ground breaking concept for a game, and that's not a bad thing.

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I don't understand much of what you're saying.

I don't understand how pursuing crowdfunding is as high risk as you present it. Double Fine took has a crowdfunding project as well as work with major publishers. I don't see why it has to be either or. My point was that I'm surprised more people aren't trying this, even if it was just for a side project or an idea that couldn't get major publisher backing.

As for working on teams, I don't understand how that has anything to do with crowdfunding. There isn't some rule that all crowdsourced projects must be one man operations so I'm not sure how you interpreted anything I said as meaning that people can't or shouldn't work together.

James Coote
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Kickstarter is high risk because these days, you can't just sell the idea, you have to have at least a working prototype, plus marketing material (video etc), which takes time to make. Plus the campaign takes time itself. Then once it succeeds, you need to deal with tax, kickstarter taking their cut, organising rewards and sorting failed payments. And if it all fails, then you've just blown months worth of family savings on a pipe dream and you still need to find a job at the end of it

As for teams, no one wants to work on someone else's game. Most people go indie because they want the creative freedom, and that doesn't match with working in a team or making compromises unless you have an incredible understanding with your co-workers

tony oakden
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I think saying that Kickstarter is "high risk" is a bit of an exaggeration. I think it is fair to say that to stand any chance of getting funded a developer needs to put a lot of effort into the campaign so it can't be considered to be "free money" either. But whether it counts as a risk depends on whether the developer invests money, time and effort, in something which only benefits them if the campaign bares fruit. Usually I think that it's possible to re-use a lot of the preproduction material which would need to be get created for a game anyway in the campaign, with the exception of the ridiculously involved movies which everyone has to make these days, even those are probably re-usable, at least in part, as PR material for the final product. In my case I've never seriously considered kickstarter because I'd rather put effort into actually making games and seeing as the games I want to make need effort rather than money it makes no sense to divert effort into a kickstarter campaign which probably won't pay any money anyway.

There is no such thing as a free lunch...