What do you do as an independent developer without the financial support of giants like Take-Two Interactive or Ubisoft? Crowdfunding is a means that is mainly used by indie developers to still get enough money. In exceptional cases, this produces huge amounts of money, such as in the case of Star Citizen. This game has been in development for years and seems to become a prayer without end due to the extended release dates and the production time, but recently Chris Roberts announced that in 2020 at least the single player part will be released. Despite the lack of a publisher, the five different studios working on this potentially impressive space simulation game can count on adequate funding; meanwhile, crowdfunding has raised almost 213 million dollars. And there is a recent private investment of $ 46 million.
No Shortage of Fund
There is no shortage of money with Star Citizen Developer Cloud Imperium Games, but the vast majority of indie developers are not so weak. It is sometimes a matter of gathering for them, especially if crowdfunding campaigns on, for example, Kickstarter, GoFundMe, Patreon or IndieGoGo do not yield enough.
What Exactly happened
In July, research agency ICO Partners mapped out the state of play on Kickstarter. A mixed picture emerges from this. Compared to the first half of 2017, nearly $ 400,000 more was committed for game projects in the first half of 2018. At the same time, it is clear that the amounts are rather skimpy against the amounts promised in 2013 and 2015. When it comes to the total number of projects submitted per half year, there has been a clear decrease since the second half of 2015, from 1146 to 723 in the first half of 2018. This most recent figure has been since the first half of 2012 never been so low.
The Recent Developments
These three relatively recent, unfinished games are by no means ‘proof’ for the statement that games are not finished now more often than in the past, but it seems that this is now the case significantly more often than, say, ten years ago. It is also much easier and normal nowadays to come up with patches and fix things immediately after the release and that may make it faster to decide to just release it anyway. Undoubtedly, the pressure from shareholders or senior management will simply be too great to opt for a Rockstar-like development time; Red Dead Redemption 2 was in production for seven years. However, now that the demand for the lol smurfs accounts is rising, the companies are coming up with new options for better gaming experiences that are harder too.
The Smaller Games
They are also by no means games of smaller, unknown studios. The games discussed above are great AAA games from major industry players. Sea of Thieves could easily have been added to the list of games discussed above, because this game had a chronic lack of content in the world on release. The same was true for No Man’s Sky when it came out on PlayStation 4. PUBG Corp is still busy optimizing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and getting performance to a decent level. And perhaps Call Duty: Black Ops 4 should also be mentioned here by dropping the single player campaign. Overall, it seems to be increasingly common for games, and certainly the larger titles, to come out in an unfinished state that sometimes turns buyers into beta testers; or even alpha testers.