Kickstarter is a boon to video game developers
Kickstarter may be up for debate when it comes to bands wanting money to tour and make a record, but for gaming startups like OUYA and Oculus Rift it is necessary.
Some ideas are so hard to make a reality—especially when the idea you have costs so much to make a reality. To get a meeting with one of the giants in gaming is pretty difficult and most of us don’t have a rich uncle they can call to help. You could go on TV and run the risk of getting beat up on Dragon’s Den.
But for most, there’s nothing left to do except turning to the Internet community. Using the Internet for good and getting like minded people to see your idea and to pledge to your idea is the perfect answer to get your great idea going.
One of the great ideas out there is OUYA. OUYA is an open video-game console powered by Android. This allows game developer at any level to create games like the ones you can for tablets and phones.
The difference that OUYA provides is that these games are playable through a console that connects to your TV. One of the reasons why phone and tablet games are so successful is that you can play them anywhere. OUYA isn’t trying to replace this; however, they want to give that experience a new life.
The games developed for the OUYA will be free. It’s unclear on how they will make money other than the sale of the consoles or how much the consoles will be at launch time, but I am sure that will be worked out if they can get it off the ground.
The creators are also talking about involving Twitch TV, a website that allows you to watch others play the games you love (such as Starcraft, which has commentators, by the way) and to have a community to help developers get their games out there.
OUYA has blown past its goal of $950,000, with over $6.5 million raised from almost 50,000 backers. OUYA may not revolutionize the gaming industry, but it is something that anyone who develops games and doesn’t have the resources to get their game on the market and for lovers of mobile-style games.
Another person trying to push the gaming industry onto another level is Palmer Luckey, creator of Oculus Rift, a virtual-reality gaming system. This is a dream thought up in the '80s that never reached its true potential through design flaws and lack of technology advancements. Oculus Rift is hoping to change that and wants to bring the virtual reality experience to a new level.
After watching the video for the proposal and seeing what they have so far, I believe they can do it. It still requires you to wear a mask on your face, which was one of the things people weren’t ready for back in the '80s and '90s—but people could be ready now.
These days it seems like console gaming has almost reached its full potential, other than offering better graphics. One of the first things to notice is that game developers are shutting down faster than a Chik-Fil-Aon Sundays, which means things aren’t going as well as they used to in the gaming industry.
There seems to be a natural progression with technologies and I believe people aren’t ready for certain advancements until they’re warmed up to it. With advancements like the Xbox Kinect and the Wii remote, people will soon be searching for the next level of the virtual experience. I think Oculus Rift is on the right path and will be helpful in the progression of this experience. Since they have surpassed their goal of $250,000 and are up to over $1.1 million, I think it’s safe to say that they will get a shot at making their dreams a reality.
Sometimes genres that publishers think are a dead aren’t actually dead. Or maybe it’s that they don’t think the cost to make the game won’t be profitable like shooters or sports games are. They’re missing something by focusing on bottom lines and recent successes. There are still people out there that love point and click adventure games and by having Kickstarter, it allows someone to make a game of that genre to get made and to point out what fans really want.
Double Fine Adventures had a goal of $400,000 to make their game and managed to blow past that goal with pledges reaching $3,336,372. Even though pledging has finished and they have started to make the game, I still suggest watching their pledge video below; it’s pretty entertaining.
Where big game publishing companies fail to see what gaming fans want by not taking their eyes off the scope and seeing what's around once and a while, Kickstarter is there to offer a home to such ideas and allows them to get made.