A growing topic within the video game industry this generation has been the rising cost of development. This leads not only to higher prices, but to publishers being less willing to take a chance on new properties. Heck, it was just revealed last week that Crackdown, which sold 1.5 million copes and then some, just barely broke even. To me, this is a primary reason why this generation needs to last for a long time (imagine how expensive the next next-gen games will be), but I digress.
However, Valve’s Gabe Newell has recently spoken about something that he feels is an alternative: gamers becoming investors that fund the making of games. Right now, the current model works with a developer going to a publisher with an idea, and getting a commitment of millions based on the concept. What Gabe is proposing is that gamers would become that investor, thus eliminating the middle man and producing an open relationship between the creative and the consumer.
While I think this is an interesting idea on paper, I can’t really see it working. It seems to me that gamers would only really want to pay money up front for a game that they are sure of, and if there’s that kind of demand, there is probably a publisher willing to back it anyway. I mean, who would fund Katamari Damacy based on the premise of a guy pushing around a ball of garbage? You get the point.
Anywho, what do you guys think of this? Is Valve on to something here?