InXile Entertainment CEO Brian Fargo says that his team and Obsidian Entertainment have worked closely on their Kickstarter projects together. Fargo has also tweeted out about relevant RPG projects on Kickstarter, and he notes this collaboration among developers is rare among publishers.
“There’s this general feeling among most of the developers that are doing this now that 1 + 1 = 3, helping each other will tend to work out somehow,” Fargo said. “And you can’t imagine that happening on the publishing side.”
Fargo has reached out on the publisher side for supporting more mid-tier development, but he says that most just aren’t that interested. “It’s not like the publishers are worried too much by this; our numbers are not too interesting to them,” Fargo noted. “I read the other day that Tomb Raider sold [over three] million copies and they’re disappointed. If we sold 2 million copies, that means I build new roleplaying games for the next two decades, guaranteed. That’s what that would mean to us.”
The fact that InXile is essentially its own publisher these days has changed the way they do business. “You barely need marketing because word of mouth is everything these days,” Fargo pointed out. “And your sales force is your backers.”
“We used to have to make changes to our content because of what the buyer at Walmart said,” Fargo recalled. “Gatekeepers are out now. The gatekeeper and the audience are one and the same. Now that I have a symbiotic relationship through crowdfunding, my goals are exactly in sync with the customer giving me the money. We are on the same page; all we both want is a great game. When you get money from other people, you think that’s obvious but it’s not. They might have other agendas, which could be their shareholders, or making the quarter, maybe I’m competing with another product of theirs, they want to change it because of that. They often will have different perspectives on the audience.”
Fargo is completely comfortable with Kickstarter because he knows there’s an audience for the game. “Our game certainly has less risk because it’s being pre-ordered,” Fargo notes. “I specifically make the game for that audience, and then I let the chips fall where they may. I think people that like roleplaying games are going to love it. Some people say, ‘How do you make it for the younger generation,’ and I don’t think about that. I’m just going to make something that’s smart and intelligent, nuanced, and the audience will figure it out.”
In the end, Fargo hopes he will continue to be able to make concepts that are interesting to him and his team. “I don’t want to be in a situation where we finish Wasteland II and I have to hurry up and get Wasteland III out the door. I don’t ever want to be in that situation,” Fargo said. “You do a sequel when you have the right idea.”
Whether AAA or not, Fargo respects companies that create the games they want to and know their audience. “Demon’s Souls is a good example. They just know who their audience is and they go for it; it’s not for everybody. They do it without shame, and people love them for it,” said Fargo. “That’s why Valve is such a great company. They don’t rush to get out another version of what they did. That’s why they’re always fresh, and they’re so revered. There is a direct correlation with a developer that has time to do it right that consistently performs. Valve, Ken Levine, Rockstar… they spend the time to get it right every time without having to force it out the door.”
To read more about InXile’s Kickstarter projects, read this exclusive [a]list interview with Fargo.
Source: GamesIndustry International