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Gabe Newell Suggests Public Funding For Games

This looks familiar!

Gabe Newell has offered another of his interesting ideas. How about gamers fund the development of games? Sounds odd? Well, it might be clever for a couple of reasons.

Speaking to ABC’s Good Game show, Newell put forth the idea that the $10 to $30 million that’s traditionally invested in games could come from the audience who’s likely to buy it. Investing at this stage, he points out, could even make you a profit.

Kotaku spotted this one, and since they’ve, um, borrowed the photo I took of him, I’ll borrow their hard work transcribing the quote! During the interview on ABC’s site Gabe explains that investing up to $30m has a huge risk involved, and one that’s increasingly difficult to take as the world continues to squirt all its money into the sky.

“What I think would be much better would be if the community could finance the games. In other words, ‘Hey, I really like this idea you have. I’ll be an early investor in that and, as a result, at a later point I may make a return on that product, but I’ll also get a copy of that game.’ So move financing from something that occurs between a publisher and a developer… Instead have it be something where funding is coming out of community for games and game concepts they really like.”

This doesn’t mean this is exactly what Valve are going to do, but rather it’s Newell throwing an idea out there. But it’s an interesting one. First of all, it means gamers would be picking games they thought worthy (who wouldn’t back a new 2D BOY project, or want to support a Tim Schafer game? (if he sodding released it on PC)). And secondly, and indeed relatedly, it does away with the need for publishers – something some developers might rather enjoy.

It’s a novel idea. So what RPS wants to know is, what game would you most want to invest in? Which developer, or which game idea, would you throw your money behind to make it happen?

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Who am I?

John Walker

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One of the original co-founders of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, I tried to leave, but they won't let me. If anyone reads this, please send help.

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