The panorama for Indie games
Indie games companies have always lacked the economic resources for developing their products, their ecosystem is far from being as healthy as it could be. Despite innovations from both Xbox and Sony over the last couple of years, the consoles are still almost entirely dominated by triple-A and double-A companies and part of the reason is down to the lack of a platform which provides the economic aid these projects need – PC and mobile development can be considerably cheaper.
This isn’t always the case though, as a number of indie games have made it into the mainstream over the last couple of years, some even having considerable success along the way. One of the prime examples is Minecraft, which made around $100 million in 2012 despite beginning life as a project with no advertising budget, but this panorama is not as bright for many indie game developers.
Many attempts have been made to even the footing between the big corporates and the indies, the most well known being through crowdfunding. The website Kickstarter, which launched in 2009, set out to help develop creative products and many saw this as the future of indie games, sadly all has not gone to plan.
Kickstarter has generated many problems in its seven-year life, including the delay of approximately 75% of the projects and the lack of transparency caused by cancelling certain projects. The worst of the worst though comes from the infamous “staff pick badge”, a feature so powerful that it can determine the success or the failure of a project. Statistics show that if a project has the staff pick badge it has an 89% chance of being successful, but without it that success rate drops to 30%.
The important thing to note, though, is that Kickstarter was intended to use for a multitude of project types, not just indie games. The right platform hasn’t existed which is purely dedicated to the games developer, until now.
Gamekicker is a crowdfunding website, developed in Breda, Netherlands, which aims at solving the problems of the current market for indie games by guiding all developers in the process of crowdfunding, coaching them and providing ongoing support with the help of a campaign manager, who also checks every project on the platform. The method of payment is the same as other crowdfunding websites by using Stripes as a gateway, all donations to the projects can be made by using almost any credit card from acround the world.
Gamekicker launches on the 08th March and currently has 2 campaign projects being developed: CURE, a multiplayer RTS game in which we take the role of a scientist who creates new microscopic forms of life for medical research, and God Caster, a digital trading card game developed by Maxmuses, featuring myths from different cultures such as Greece and Norway.
Could this be the shining light to balance the market and provide indie developers with everything they need? Only time will tell, but Gamekicker is a great new platform which should help developers bring their products to life, providing them with guidance and coaching through the whole process of crowdfunding.