“I could not be happier”: Fargo on fans as publishers

Monday, 15 April 2013 14:02 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Free from the dictates of tradition-bound publishers, inXile boss Brian Fargo is answerable to at least 74,00 bosses, and as our huge GDC 2013 interview reveals, he wouldn’t have it any other way.

The beauty of crowd-funding

Started in 2002 by Interplay Productions co-founder Brian Fargo.

Specializes in role-playing games.

Known for 2004′s The Bard’s Tale and 2011′s Hunted: The Demon’s Forge among others.

Currently developing Wasteland 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera through Kickstarter funding.

Has pledged 5% of post-launch net profits of Wasteland 2 to back future Kickstarter projects.

After acquiring the rights to Wasteland back from Konami in 2003, inXile Entertainment founder Brian Fargo announced in 2007 he was planning to bring back the game which inspired the original Fallout.

Then, all went quiet until that fateful day in February 2012 when Fargo announced Wasteland 2 would soon be up for crowd-funding. On March 13, 2012, the Kickstarter page for Wasteland 2 went live with $900,000 needed to fund development. Within 43 hours, the goal was surpassed, and when dust cleared on April 17, Wasteland 2 had raised over $2.9 million.

It was the third highest crowd funded game on Kickstarter at the time, and an additional $107,152 was donated through PayPal pledges.

Due to such overwhelming success, in January 2013, inXile decided to try its hand at Kickstarter again: this time, with the spiritual successor to Planescape: Torment, Tides of Numenera after the acquisition of the Torment license. The firm was understandably nervous doing so, as it would be the second project it posted to the crowd funding site within a year’s time.

Such trepidation seemed to be justified when funding for the project seemed to stagnate at one point – before it took off like a rocket and became the second largest gaming Kickstarter to date.

“The first time around, with Wasteland 2, there wasn’t enough data to signify to me [stagnation] was normal,” inXile founder Brian Fargo told me during GDC. “So we thought we were in the middle of a drop-off, but we were wrong. We were like, ‘what happened?’ But we soon found out it’s a very natural progression.

“I read that 87% of Kickstarter projects are small, and I think that in the beginning, someone said only half of the projects were getting financed and only one quarter of those were video games. That’s insane. I mean, if you are out pitching products to publishers, maybe 1% of those are successful. This means that the successful one quarter on Kickstarter being financed brings that figure up to 20-25%. That is a huge statistic.”

“Kickstarter is maturing and helping vet projects what wouldn’t have sold. There is always a concept people will get behind. You just have to figure out what it is.”

With so many games and hardware options being financed through Kickstarter, many have predicted that the bubble is going to burst. While such a thing could be construed as inevitable, it’s not hard to suspect things are indeed slowing down, what with projects from high-profile developers either barely scraping by or failing to meet funding goals. Two such titles comes to mind off the top of my head: 22Cans’ Godus which we all thought at one point wasn’t going to make it, and Robotoki’s The Adventures of Dash, respectively.

“For a while all I heard about was Kickstarter fatigue or that it wasn’t going to happen or whether we should do another one,” said Fargo. “And I thought, if I can provide compelling reasons why and give people more detail – I mean you’ll notice the Torment pitch video was way more detailed than Wasteland 2 , and that’s because the expectations were different than a year ago. Just a year made a difference. But we took more time with the Torment pitch and if you are really striking the right chords and personifying and people understand why they should support a project with their money, I think Kickstarter will continue to do well.”

Fargo believes many Kickstarter projects fail due to pitches which don’t follow “the golden rules,” such as those that only show game footage. For a developer trying to get their game funded, such lack of attention to detail can make or break them. Backers need to know the developer: their background; their goals; their intentions with the title; why they have taken to Kickstarter in the first place instead of going the traditional route.

“I could never have raised money from the venture capitalists to do what I’m doing. It just wouldn’t have happened. Kickstarter is still in a growth period. Like all entertainment mediums, the filtering is going to get tighter.”

An example of one Kickstarter project which failed was the Fire Emblem-style tactical RPG, Telepath Tacitics. However, according to Fargo, the reason the title is once again back on Kickstarter, and successful this time, is because its developer learned from the previous failure.

“Look at Craig Stern: he went onto Kickstarter with Telepath Tactics and failed, yet people liked what they saw and knew he was a bright guy,” Fargo said. “So, he made another run at it and he’s funded this time. He learned and proved himself through failure, and came back and made it happen.

“I believe with the indies that if they are persistent and they show something they will start to have people recognize their talent and will have a chance to make it. They have to keep going. There is no other way. It’s just not as easy as it was that first year of Kickstarter when everything was going wild – it was like when the Internet exploded and everyone was becoming a millionaire.”

Fargo believes Kickstarter isn’t a trend. It will continue to be a source of funding; however, it has matured and is no longer going through its “unnatural” first phase.

“It’s maturing and helping vet projects what wouldn’t have sold,” he said. “I have friends with Kickstarters that didn’t work out and, I tell them that people still like them, and like what they do – they just didn’t care for that particular concept. They voted. They didn’t like it. There is always a concept people will get behind. You just have to figure out what it is: there’s so much psychology at work.

“I could never have raised money from the venture capitalists to do what I’m doing. It just wouldn’t have happened. I don’t see it going away, its still in a growth period, it’s just that like all entertainment medium, the filtering is going to get tighter. There are some developers who are trying to make Kickstarter their first project source. That’s a hard way to cut your teeth production wise. I mean, for example: ‘Here’s a Flash game. Isn’t it really great? Well now I am going to do this.’ There are a lot of indies out there who have never produced anything before and say: ‘give us money.’ That’s a harder conversation.

“Also, I think those products will be coming less and less, but that doesn’t mean it will prevent the indie from finding a way to get their voice out there through Flash or Unity or whatever the case may be. I have been doing this for 30 years so I have a bigger voice, for these guys to be in my position later they have got to get something to market so that people can see them and start to build a fan base. ”

Triple-A, the lack of indie support, and sexy heroines

Post-apocalyptic RPG co-developed by Obsidian Entertainment’s Chris Avellone, and sequel to 1988′s Wasteland.

Kickstarter launched March 13, 2012 with a $900,000 goal. Contributions hit over $600,000 within 24-hours. Funding ended April 17 with $2,933,252 raised through Kickstarter and $107,152 through PayPal.

Members returning from the original Wasteland team include: Alan Pavlish, Ken St. Andre, Liz Danforth, Nathan Long, Colin McComb, Mark Morgan (Fallout and Fallout 2 composer), and Michael Stackpole.

Is number six on Kickstarter’s “Most Funded” list, nestled between Double Fine Adventure and Homestuck Adventure Game.

Slated for Linux, Mac, and PC in late 2013 and will be bundled with the original title.

Much has changed since Brian Fargo first’s foray into the industry in 1982, after having been bitten by the video game bug with his first Apple II computer back in 1977. Fargo’s first game released was the graphic text-adventure RPG Demon’s Forge, which he developed and marketed himself as he worked on various educational games for World Book Encyclopedia.

By 1983, he had founded Interplay Productions where he developed another text-adventure game called Mindshadow which was published by Activision. Then came Bard’s Tale for Apple II and Commodore 64 from publisher Electronic Arts. After finding success, Fargo co-designed Wasteland and in 1988 Interplay became both a development studio and publishing house.

Interplay published Silicon & Synapse’s RPM Racing, developed by Ayman Adham and Michael Morhaime – who eventually changed their name to a Blizzard Entertainment. Other studios which found publishing deals under Interplay include Parallax Software, which was later renamed Volition, and even BioWare. Under Interplay’s Black Isle division, Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale and Planescape: Torment were released, as was the original Fallout.

During the mid-1990′s, Universal/MCA had purchased a 45% stake in Interplay, and the firm went public in 1998. However, the firm’s main investor Titus Software and Fargo had a difference of opinion on how to run the company, so in 2000 Titus took over control of Interplay, a move which caused Fargo to resign.

It’s no wonder Fargo is less than trustful of large publishing firms, and is a huge supporter of indies. He started out as one; became entangled in big business politics and money; left for while; and now he’s making a comeback on his own terms in an era where indie is taking on triple-A – and by all accounts succeeding.

Independent developers are younger, hungry, tired of the status quo, and ready to fight tooth and nail for a place in gamer’s homes and handhelds.

“Look at the indie scene now compared to 2004. There was no Steam. There was no Kongregate. There was nothing for indies. It was the Dark Ages,” he said.

“You have to look at the snapshot over the last decade rather than the last year. You’ve got consoles like OUYA and GameStick – you’ve got all these companies embracing them, you’ve got Sony, Steam, you’ve got Project Greenlight, Kickstarter, it’s so much better now than it was. There was nothing back then.

“In fairness, you’ve got to have some perspective regarding what’s happened over this last decade to give so many more people a chance. I mean, there was literally nothing and there’s not a lot of opportunity in the triple-A space for indies to go pitch publishers. It’s almost non-existent. Thankfully we have these other vehicles now.

“I mean who would have thought a few years ago that Apple would come along with iPad and obliterate Nintendo. Who would have thought that would’ve happened?”

Fargo isn’t shy when voicing his opinion on the triple-A scene, and since he is an independent developer, he doesn’t have to worry about focus groups hired by larger publishers which dictate what sells and what doesn’t sell in the marketplace, such as the idea of a video game having a female protagonist as a main character.

“I think people were overly influenced by Tomb Raider and being the sexy heroine. Now, that isn’t what is necessary or needed to make a game work.”

Publishers have tried to force their ideas on developers – like Naughty Dog , a venerable developer which was asked to push Ellie to the back the box art for The Last of Us – with the suggestion that the game would not sell as well to what is deemed a predominantly male audience. Beyond: Two Souls developer Quantic Dream was also asked to show star Jodie Holmes brandishing a gun on the game’s cover. Both developers refused to budge. Dontnod were even told by publishers it pitched Remember Me to that female characters ‘don’t sell video games’, before signing with on with Capcom.

This insistence that women don’t work as protagonists, and serve merely as over-sexualised eye candy or romantic interest, is something Fargo blames on focus groups tested by marketing firms stuck in the glory days of Tomb Raider.

“This is my theory: I think people were overly influenced by Tomb Raider and being the sexy heroine,” Fargo told me. “In Wasteland, we have a female character and she’s a bad ass so I think that’s more where [female protagonists] are going.

“I think that Tomb Raider kind of broke the mold in having a female heroine. But she was sexy, so I think there was a natural marketing inclination that thought: ‘well that worked, so let’s kind of stick with that formula.’ Now, that isn’t what is necessary or needed to make a game work.

“I think we’re finally seeing an evolution beyond the Tomb Raider, sexy-heroine-only sort of attitude. I think that that’s suggesting itself pretty quickly in this climate.”

Going back to his roots

Spiritual successor to 1999′s Planescape: Torment.

Centers around a story-driven campaign set in Numenera, and authored by Monte Cook.

Launched on Kickstarter March 6, 2013 and was successfully funded within six hours.

Backers pledged $4.2 million towards $900,000 goal. It’s the second most funded gaming Kickstarter of all time.

Set for release in 2015 on Linux, Mac, and PC.

With Wasteland 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera, Fargo and his team at inXile Entertainment are going back to their role-play roots after “not being able to develop,” what they wanted, and instead, doing “everything else.”

One such title the firm worked on in its early days, which was far from an RPG, was HEI$T for Codemasters: an open-world title set in San Francisco, California, circa 1969. In it, players controlled a group of criminals as they performed dozens of heists which would inevitably turn them into the greatest bank robber of all time. In addition to knocking off banks throughout the city, players would pull off further jobs such as raiding bars, restaurants, strip clubs, armored cars, and more in order to acquire the bigger and better tools needed to penetrate the increasingly more difficult banks and, eventually, the San Francisco Mint.

It sounded promising, but after being originally slated for release around Christmas 2007, in March 2008 Codemasters delayed the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 title to June the same year. After the announcement, the game fell off the radar until it was revealed in 2010 that it had been cancelled. Codemasters said at the time the project had been “terminated” as the firm was shifting focus to “high quality titles that will, in the majority, be developed and produced,” by its internal studios.

According to Fargo, the game had potential, and its troubled development cycle stemmed, in part, from too much publisher input.

“That was a game which had a lot of potential, and the writing was very Quentin Tarantino-ish. It had Christian Slater in it and he did wonderful job, he was very funny, ” said Fargo. “But that was just another situation where the developer just needed to be left alone to do their thing.

“It’s tough to be a developer, and on that particular project, we had an agreement where we would create an open-world game using Unreal Engine on the PS3 – but the specs didn’t exist yet. So, at that point you’re guessing and then when you finally get there you find there’s a performance issue and you say: ‘eh, let’s just drop it. We can make it run great on PC and Xbox – but [Codemasters wanted] PS3.

HEI$T – A grainy video of what might have been

“We didn’t know about the RAM issues or performance issues with Unreal on the console. We had no idea, and you just go round and round in conversations that get nowhere. That’s the thing about being a developer. There’s this difficult relationship [with the publisher] that’s unnecessary, and I find that the developers who are doing the best work have the ability to get paid on a regular basis and focus on what they’re doing – and that’s the beauty of doing a Kickstarter project.

“Because I can tell you as an executive of a company, you are spending 30-100 % of your time worrying about keeping all your guys employed. So what’s next? Pitches, production, everything takes 6-9 months. So when you half way through developing one, game you are already pitching another product. You are not spending all of your energy just focusing on the game – whereas with Wasteland and Torment all I am doing is worrying about the game. This allows me to make a better game. It sounds simple, but it’s a very important dynamic.”

Plus, with Kickstarter, the project’s backers are basically not only investors, but they can also be considered the publishers: this makes for a much more understanding and flexible “boss” if you will.

“The dynamic with the people who donate is much different [than working with investors], ” said Fargo. “Like with Wastelands 2, they were asking ‘when are we going to see the demo?’ It ended up being about four weeks later than planned, and they were like ‘no problem’. We delivered and everyone was happy.

“There also wasn’t the threat of: ‘if you don’t deliver the demo you don’t get paid.’ It’s a great dynamic. I could not be happier about being in a position to where the consumer who wants the game is also the one who helped fund the game. 100% of our interests are in line. I could not be happier.”

Big thanks to The_Red for reminding me to ask Fargo about HEI$T.


  • Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush finally arrives in Europe this week – video

    Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush will finally be made available in Europe this week, and you can have a look at the region’s launch trailer below. Known in North America as Kirby and the Rainbow Curse and in Japan as Touch! Kirby Super Rainbow, the Wii U platformer was released in both regions on February […]

  • Xbox One users will be able to DVR TV shows later this year – report

    Xbox One users will be able to use a DVR feature later this year to record TV programs, according to a new tech report. Sources speaking with tech blogger Paul Thurrott confirmed Microsoft would offer a replacement for the aging Windows Media Center on Windows 10 with a a new playback feature later in the […]

  • Sony will not host a press briefing at gamescom, chooses Paris Games Week instead

    Sony will not host a press conference at gamescom 2015 this year. Instead, it will host a press event at Paris Games Week in October. Sony Europe confirmed the news to Gematsu, following a report from GameBlog. “We’re delighted to announce that we will be hosting an international media briefing at Paris Games Week on […]

  • Drizzt is coming to Neverwinter with quests written by his creator R.A. Salvatore

    Neverwinter players will soon be able to travel with none other than the fabulous Drizzt Do’Urden with a new expansion coming in 2015. Tentatively titled Neverwinter: Underdark, players will accompany Drizzt to the Drow city of Menzoberranzan during its demonic assault. A set of quests written by the creator of Drizzt, R.A. Salvatore, will be […]

  • Destiny’s big September update could be titled The Taken King

    Destiny’s big September update could be titled The Taken King, if a trademark which popped up a few days ago is accurate. Noticed by NeoGAF, the trademark shows the title and logo, which Eurogamer says is “reminiscent of the Hive” with the king referred to possibly being Oryx, the father of The Dark Below’s Crota. […]

  • EU PS Deal of the Week: Far Cry 4 and The Crew; plenty of games for under €10/£8

    Sony Europe has put quite a few games on sale for under €10/£8, and the Deal of the Week are two from Ubisoft. Here’s your Deal of the Week, valid through May 13: PS4 Far Cry 4 Gold Edition: £39.99/€49.99/AU$75.95 Far Cry 4 Season Pass: £11.99/€14.99/AU$22.95 The Crew: €34.99/AU$34.99 PS3 Far Cry 4: £24.99/€34.99/AU$44.95 Far […]

  • Oculus Rift consumer model to skip 2015, now expected Q1 2016

    Oculus VR has announced that its Rift headset will be in the hands of consumers in the first quarter of 2016. The Oculus Rift VR headset will not ship in 2015 as previously expected, Oculus VR has announced. The announcement is referring to the consumer version and not the next development kit. This consumer model […]

  • Rogue Legacy comes to Xbox One this month

    Rogue Legacy will release on Xbox One at the end of the month. Rogue Legacy has been missing from the Xbox One library. That will soon change when the celebrated indie rogue-lite gets released on May 27. Developer Cellar Door Games announced the news today, confirming that the port will be handled by Abstraction Games. […]

  • Project Cars – the review round-up

    Project Cars has been tested and the critics are giving it positive reviews all over the internet. Slightly Mad Studios’ Project Cars spent plenty of time in the hands of racing fans for years throughout its development. As we approach the game’s release, plenty of pundits have gone hands-on and they have a lot to […]

  • Get The Witcher 3 and Batman: Arkham Knight free with purchase of new Nvidia GPUs

    Nvidia is offering two of this year’s most anticipated games for free, when you buy its new GPUs. Those thinking about getting a GTX 980, or its more affordable brother the GTX 970, will be very happy to know that Nvidia will throw in free copies of both The Witcher 3 and Batman: Arkham Knight […]

  • Battlefield Hardline: 80% of copies were sold on PS4 and Xbox One

    Despite being a cross-gen game, Battlefield Hardline made the majority of its sales on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. During EA’s earnings call last night, the publisher relayed expectations of the PS4 and Xbox One install base growing to reach 50 million. Part of that optimism is due to how well newer titles did on […]

  • Steam’s latest client update fixes years-old bug

    Steam’s infamous screenshot bug has been fixed in the latest beta release. The Steam client has been suffering from a small, but very annoying bug for over four years now. The bug would cause Steam to take two screenshots every time you press the screenshot key once. Anyone who tried to capture beautiful in-game scenes […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront will not have aiming-down-ironsights

    Star Wars Battlefront developer DICE has confirmed what many suspected would be the case for the upcoming shooter. Not counting scopes, the weapons in Star Wars Battlefront will not have iron sights. Patrick Bach, executive producer at developer DICE confirmed the news in an interview with OXM – as reported by GamesRadar. “There are no […]

  • Myst TV series now with Hulu – rumour

    Myst is still in line to spawn a TV drama. A Myst TV series was announced in October, but there was no talk of a network picking it up. Now whisperers have it that Hulu has signed the Legendary Television project. The rumour comes via Deadspin, which does not name its sources, but describes a […]

  • Silent Hills demo P.T. erased so thoroughly you can’t even re-download it now

    Why do you make it so hard to love you, Konami? P.T., the thoroughly excellent, genuinely terrifying, magnificently layered playable teaser for the cancelled Silent Hills, has now been removed from the PlayStation Store. According to both Kotaku and Polygon, the demo has been so thoroughly erased, in fact, that even if you downloaded it […]

  • Killzone 1080p false advertising lawsuit dismissed

    The Killzone: Shadow Fall Resolutiongate lawsuit has ended with a whimper rather than a bang. Last year, a class action lawsuit was brought against Sony over Killzone: Shadow Fall. The suit alleged Sony was guilty of negligent misrepresentation, false advertisement, unfair competition and fraud in the inducement for claiming that Shadow Fall had 1080p graphics, […]

  • Don’t trust marketing – trust this unscripted Magicka 2 gameplay capture

    The latest Magicka 2 trailer pokes gentle fun at gameplay trailers that present as unscripted capture of players who definitely aren’t paid voice actors. The trailer below advertises Magicka 2′s features ahead of its May 26 PC and PS4 launch (although the Challenge Mode is available right now with pre-orders). Behold: If you’re not familiar […]

  • Pedestrians turn dangerous in this GTA 5 mod

    GTA 5 mods just keep giving. GTA 5 doesn’t have the suite of cheats progenitor GTA: San Andreas did, but you can recreate at least one of them using a new mod by Trumple. The mod, which can be toggled in-game with F5 once installed, gives pedestrians weapons and makes them hyper aggressive. The streets […]

  • Mega Man Legends prequel rated for re-release

    Mega Man Legends still isn’t available on console networks, but it looks like its prequel is on the way. The Misadventures of Tron Bonne is a 1999 PSone title which served as a prequel to Mega Man Legends. The ESRB has rated it for PlayStation 3, PSP and Vita, suggesting it’s soon to be re-released […]

  • Tales of Zestiria PS4 rumours to be cleared up soon

    Tales of Zestiria will exit rumour limbo quite soon. Tales of Zestiria is rumoured for PS4 release, but Bandai Namco has so far refused to comment on the matter. In a Facebook post inaccessible in many territories but screengrabbed by Gematsu, the publisher’s Asian branch said it would be able to comment on rumours related […]

  • Sega is skipping E3 for the first time ever

    Sega won’t even have a booth at E3 2015. The end times approach, hey. Sega games will be on show at partner’s booths, but the publisher itself is missing from the attendees list. Ars Technica reports Sega hasn’t missed an E3 since the show launched in 1995, but will break tradition this year. Sega doesn’t […]

  • GTA 5 car gun mod is ridiculous, awesome

    Today, the Internet is in love with a particularly ridiculous GTA 5 mod. GTA 5 has a lot of cool weapons and mods have added even more. Topping yesterday’s excellent gravity gun is the vehicle cannon, which fires cars instead of bullets. Cars. Instead of bullets. Here’s a video of the mod in action courtesy […]

  • Mortal Kombat X PC patch pulled after erasing save files

    Mortal Kombat X was updated on PC overnight, but it wasn’t exactly what fans were hoping for. The PC version of Mortal Kombat X has come under criticism for a number of reasons, but NetherRealm said recently that a major patch would make it just as good as the console version. It’s not clear whether […]

  • PS4 and Xbox One to hit 50 million sales within a year – EA

    EA is absolutely positive on the future of the current generation of consoles, as well as the the digital sphere. During a conference call following a financial release earlier today, EA executives made several interesting comments and predictions on the state of the industry. The publisher expects an install base of close to 50 million […]

  • EA making “incubation efforts” in virtual reality space

    EA isn’t ready to make a massive commitment to virtual reality, but when the time comes it intends to be a market leader. During a post-earnings release conference call today, one caller asked if EA had any plans for VR. CEO Andrew Wilson said EA intends to “lead from the front” when VR comes into […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront expected to shift 9-10 million units in FY 2016

    Star Wars: Battlefront will sell strongly, but not make a lot of money for EA this financial year, the publisher has warned. Star Wars: Battlefront isn’t just a license to print money, EA emphasised in a post-earnings release conference call this morning. Judging by the series’s historical sales, and by sales of Battlefield 4, EA […]

  • Don’t expect Titanfall 2 for at least nine months

    Titanfall 2 is still quite a long way out. Titanfall 2 wasn’t listed in EA’s upcoming release slate in its financials release this morning. Answering a query in a conference call following the release, EA said we can safely assume the Respawn sequel won’t release in fiscal 2016. “You assumption should be 17,” an executive […]

  • Mirror’s Edge 2 due early 2016, new Need for Speed in Q4 2015

    EA has indicated general release windows for a number of anticipated new titles. Mirror’s Edge 2 has an early 2016 release date. EA confirmed the release plan in today’s financials release, also noting that a new Need for Speed and a new Plants vs Zombies are coming in the same window. Mirror’s Edge 2 is […]

  • EA financials highlight millions of hours played in Battlefield Hardline, Dragon Age: Inquisition

    Electronic Arts reported its Q4 and year end FY15 financial results today, highlighting the amount of hours played in Battlefield Hardline and Dragon Age: Inquisition. Selected Operating Highlights and Metrics: For fiscal year 2015 EA was the #1 publisher on PlayStation4 and Xbox One consoles in the world, driven by the success of Battlefield Hardline, […]

  • Black Mesa can now be acquired through Steam Early Access

    Black Mesa, the re-imagining of Half-Life 1 from Crowbar Collective, has entered Steam Early Access. At present, 85% of the campaign is complete with around 10 hours worth of gameplay. Early Access users will be helping test the multiplayer deatmatch and team deathmatch modes via six maps as well as the single-player portion. As will […]


  1. Brenna Hillier

    You’d think answering to 70,000 fans would be harder than a couple of suits at a publisher, since gamers have a reputation for being outspoken and, let’s face it, kind of reactionary. It’s interesting that Fargo’s paying public is a kinder and more engaged audience than the people who are supposed to know what we actually want from games.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Old MacDonald

    A good read. I like this kind of article. Looking forward to both Wasteland 2 and Torment. I only backed Wasteland 2, because while I get their reasons for doing another Kickstarter so soon, I personally want to see the result of my first pledge before considering if this is a developer I want to back again.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. sh4dow

    Big surprise… the fans collectively take the risk and they don’t get a cut in return, just the game and other goodies that cost comparatively little.

    But once there are a couple of disappointing games and people will wonder what the hell they spent their money on, things will probably change.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. DSB

    @1 Are they really? I’ve backed a lot of stuff left, right and center, and it seems to me like there’s always a group of people who are complaining and expecting too much no matter what you do. Like 15 bucks means you get to approve everything over the course of development.

    That’s the problem with the whole public side of it I guess.

    It is incredibly weird that everybody’s looking to Fargo as an icon though. Firstly because he’s all “gamer power” now, when he originally killed Interplay by going public. Secondly because inXile is synonymous with abject mediocrity.

    Have you played Choplifter HD guys? Play that, and then consider the wisdom of giving the man 5 dollars to make anything.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Jerykk


    Don’t get a cut? Your cut is whatever reward you chose when you pledged. You act like you’ve invested millions into the company or something. Pledging to a Kickstarter is very much like pre-ordering a game. You are giving away your money based on faith and the hope that you’ll get a good game in return. There are no guarantees and you agree to that risk when you give your money.


    Fargo was also the one who helped greenlight classic games like Earthworm Jim, Sacrifice, MDK, Giants, Baldur’s Gate, Planescape Torment, Icewind Dale, etc. Interplay was already dying when he decided to take it public. That’s the whole reason he took it public. Sadly, making unique and niche games isn’t enough to sustain a big publisher which is why Fargo left Interplay and is now doing Kickstarter.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. DSB

    @6 So you’d give an executive money to develop a game based on the games he’s greenlit during his time as CEO? Doesn’t make a bit of sense to me.

    I find it a lot more interesting to look at what he’s done over the last decade, and calling that mediocrity is absolutely being courteous about it.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. BrianFargo

    I must say in my defense I do a lot more than greenlight projects. But its worth keeping in mind that the process of development is far more interactive than in years past and we will be working in tight conjunction with the gamers long before it is done. Back in the day we had to keep our fingers crossed that we nailed the right elements but this new transparency removes that variable. So yes it is true that working with the fans put our goals more in line than a publisher/investor who may have different pressures such as making a financial quarter, flipping an investment or badly managing a developer. Trust me when I say that this process is 100% better.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Sini

    Good for you man, bet you wake up in the morning with more vigor working on games you have passion for, than when you were working on games just to keep afloat the company.
    I bet if there was no pc piracy you could pull double or more for these kickstarters too, but what can you do.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. sh4dow

    @5: What are you talking about? I mean a cut of the earnings! Publishers (which are the fans in the case of Kickstarter) who invest in games usually get the biggest percentage of the money a game makes!

    #9 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

  • Hearthstone has been played by 30 million people

    Blizzard’s strategy game Hearthstone has 30 million players, the developer announced on Twitter. The figure doesn’t breakdown players numbers by platform, but Activision will release its recent financial report tomorrow, so maybe more information will be forthcoming. Hearthstone was releases on PC March 14, 2014 followed by Mac, phones, and tablets. Blackrock Mountain, the latest […]

  • Tomorrow’s Destiny livestream focuses on Prison of Elders – here’s a teaser

    Another Destiny: House of Wolves livestream takes place tomorrow, and it will focus on Prison of the Elders. The Prison of Elders is a prison facility in The Reef which is watched over by Variks and is part of the new Arena game mode which is limited to three players. The livestream will be hosted […]

  • Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 has been announced for current and last-gen

    Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 has been announced by Activision, which isn’t shocking in the slightest. Correction: My stupid brain has EA on it due to the financials release later today. The game is being published by Activision. Not EA and I previously stated. I apologize, and have reprimanded myself in a most sever manner. […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Collector’s Edition is sold out in the UK

    Hopefully, you pre-ordered the Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Collector’s Edition in the UK already. If not, you are likely out of luck. According to GAME, the pack which contains the Half Scale Replica of Snake’s Bionic Arm has sold out in the UK. The retailer confirmed the news to Videogamer this morning. […]

  • Far Cry 4 Complete Edition coming June 19 for PC, PS4 to the UK

    A Far Cry 4 Complete Edition has been announced and it includes the full game as well as the Season Pass. This is the sku which popped up on Amazon Germany earlier in the week. The Season Pass provides access to five separate pieces of DLC. Here’s a refresher on the DLC content: The Syringe: […]

  • The Witcher 3: live Q&A stream with CDP, new monster dev diary inside

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is out in just two weeks, and if you want to know more about Geralt’s latest adventure, CD Projekt is hosting a live Q&A now on Twitch. There’s also a new developer diary below which focuses on monster in the game. The Witcher 3 is out on May 19. Huzzah! […]

  • Forza Horizon 2′s Alpinestars Car Pack has five cars and is ready for download

    The Alpinestars Car Pack for Forza Horizon 2 is out now on Xbox One and its the only way you will ever be able to afford a 1992 Bugatti EB110 Super Sport. Unless, of course, you win the lottery or are left in some rich person’s will. In that case, I’ll take the ’53 Corvette, […]

  • Shadow of Mordor – Game of the Year Edition is now available in North America

    Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – Game of the Year Edition has been released in North America. It will be made available in the Europe on May 7 and in the UK May 8 for £49.99 on consoles and £34.99 on PC. As previously announced, this edition contains all previously released DLC content as well as […]

  • Two GAME exclusive versions of Halo 5: Guardians now available for pre-order

    GAME has announced two exclusive versions of Halo 5: Guardians, and both are now available for pre-order exclusively through one of the retail chain’s 318 stores or online. The £79.99 Limited Edition Halo 5: Guardians, which delivers new digital content wrapped in a steel book. There’s also the £199.99 Halo 5: Guardians Limited Collector’s Edition […]

  • Deals with Gold: Far Cry 4, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Bioshock Infinite, more

    Microsoft has announced its latest Deals with Gold discounts for Xbox Live Gold members. Franchises on sale include Far Cry, Call of Duty, along with individual titles Assassin’s Creed Unity and Bioshock Infinite. The full list is below. Bioshock Infinite discounts are available for both Xbox Live Gold and Silver members. Xbox One Far Cry […]

  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood has released, watch the launch trailer here

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood has launched on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. You can watch the launch trailer for it below. Boxed copies in Europe arrive from May 15, and in Australia/New Zealand on May 14. You can grab digital copies from the following online services: Steam, PlayStation Network, Xbox Store.

  • GOG’s online service GOG Galaxy is now in open beta

    GOG Galaxy, the DRM-free online gaming platform from the folks at GOG, has left Alpha and is now in open beta for all to try. As previously announced, the online service, similar to Steam, is option. Players do not need to play online as all games are stored by the service and can be played […]

  • DayZ-inspired Goat Simulator DLC GoatZ is out this week on Steam

    Goat Simulator players can download DayZ-inspired DLC this week called GoatZ. According to Coffee Stain Studios, GoatZ is “the only survival game on Steam that isn’t in Early Access.” Jokingly of course. The DLC features: Mandatory crafting system because everyone else is doing it. Zombies that bug out. There’s a pun here about actual living […]

  • No, Far Cry 4 is not currently free on PSN

    You may have seen a few Tweets from people saying that the PS4 version of Far Cry 4 is available to download from PSN for free. This is not true. A few readers have tipped us off to what looked like a glitch on PSN that allowed players to download the full version of Far […]

  • Metal Gear Solid: The 1984 Collection confirmed to be a clothing line

    Konami is teasing a Metal Gear Solid thing called “The 1984 Collection.” The Metal Gear Solid Facebook page posted this image about an hour ago: The caption reads, “Step back into the 80′s with our new MGS collection coming very soon! Stay tuned!” This is supposedly in reference to the clothing line that was announced […]

  • Portal, The Simpsons, Jurassic World & Scooby Doo packs listed for Lego Dimensions

    Lego Dimensions is likely getting a few unannounced content packs. One of which is themed around Valve’s Portal. A set of unannounced content packs for the upcoming Lego Dimensions have been revealed by US retailer Walmart. The listings include packs for The Simpsons, Scooby Doo and Jurassic World, and most interestingly, Portal. The listings have […]

  • This is the most authentic recreation of GTA 2 in real life ever

    Affordable drones have many uses. Most of them are not nearly as exciting as recreating GTA 2 in real life. I am surprised it took us this long, but someone has finally captured footage using a drone that resembles the protagonist’s experience in the classic GTA 2. These aren’t just shots of cars from a […]

  • PlayStation 4 sales reach 2m in the UK

    Sony has sold 2 million PlayStation 4 consoles in the UK, faster than it did with the PlayStation 2 – the company’s best-selling machine in the country. MCVUK is reporting that as of last weekend, 2 million PlayStation 4s have been sold in the UK. The data is based on GfK Chart-Track estimates. This makes […]

  • H1Z1 gets female characters, skin colour options planned

    In an effort to improve diversity in the game, H1Z1 developer has added female characters. Female survivors can now be found throughout the world of H1Z1. Developer Daybreak added the new feature in a patch released last Friday. You will be able to choose a female avatar in the main game and in Battle Royale. […]

  • Possible teaser site for Castlevania creator Koji “IGA” Igarashi’s new game opens

    Either Castlevania creator Koji “IGA” Igarashi is working on a soon-to-be-launched Kickstarter for his new game, or someone is pulling an elaborate prank. At PAX Prime last year, during Keiji Inafune’s Mighty No. 9 panel, a flyer was handed out to attendees that showed what appeared to be a 2D game of some sort with […]

  • Destiny weekly reset for May 5: Heroic and Nightfall strikes detailed

    Tuesday is here and Destiny’s weekly reset is also here. Bungie announced that your weekly Destiny grind has now begun. The Nightfall and Heroic strikes are now live too. This week’s strike is Winter’s Run. Rainbow burn is back for the Nightfall, which means you do more damage with all elemental weapons, but also receive […]

  • PC version of Project Cars delayed in Australia due to severe weather

    Recent weather conditions in Sydney, Australia are responsible for a slight delay of the PC version of Project Cars in the country. Sydney recently suffered from storms that caused flooding in some areas. One of those is the place where publisher Namco Bandai was storing PC copies of Project Cars. The stock was “severely damaged,” […]

  • Twitch’s new process makes it easier for streamers to appeal flagged content

    Twitch has updated its appeals process concerning videos that have been flagged by the audio ID system. Towards the end of last year, Twitch introduced a new audio recognition system that scans archived streams and automatically mutes the audio whenever copyright music is identified. The system has been in-use ever since and Twitch has today […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a day one patch, but it’s not a major one

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will indeed have a day one patch, to make the first-time experience as smooth as possible. Like many modern games, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will have its day one patch. According to the developer however, it wasn’t born out of necessity. Miles Tost, level designer at developer CD Projekt […]

  • CoD: Advanced Warfare owners get free pistol today

    Advanced Warfare developer Sledgehammer Games is adding a new pistol to the game, free to all players. The M1 Irons is a new pistol that comes to Advanced Warfare starting today. The weapon is offered as a thank you gift from the developer. Sledgehammer says the Irons is good at range and packs a punch. […]

  • Fall down the Skullgirls Big Band music video rabbit hole with me

    Skullgirls is a pretty amazing fighting game, but did you know it’s also a passable music creation suite? Earlier today I was idly perusing an episode of PlayStation Underground showing off Skullgirls 2nd Encore, a re-release of the indie fighter packing in loads of new features and coming to PS4 – with full cross-play! – […]

  • The many uses of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood’s pipe weapon

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood adds a sick new weapon to BJ’s arsenal: a pipe. In Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, a pipe is not just a pipe. Not only can you bash nazis with it, you can use it to climb walls, reach hatches, and even break through some walls. Plus? You can dual wield it. […]

  • Mortal Kombat X teaser gives first look at Predator

    Mortal Kombat X’s next celebrity guest was teased during the latest Kast. Today’s Mortal Kombat X Kast was mostly about all about Jason, but also included a very brief nod to Predator. You can watch the full livestream to see the tease in situ if you’re really keen, but IGN shared this convenient edit: There’s […]

  • Rock Band 4 has count-ins, drum fills and vocal harmonies

    Rock Band 4 will more closely emulate the feeling of being a real musician with some neat personalisation touches. For Rock Band 4, Harmonix elected to double down on player ownership of their experience rather than technical precision. To this end, it has implemented a number of cool new features. I am wildly envious of […]

  • Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, Lost Planet 3 developer shuttered

    Spark Unlimited has gone down with all hands. The Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z and Lost Planet 3 developer has been shuttered and all staff laid off. Chief technical officer John Butrovich confirmed the news in a statement issued to IGN. “Spark Unlimited is closing as a video game developer. The ongoing opportunities for smaller mobile […]

  • PS Now subscription available on PlayStation 3 this month, Vita coming soon

    PlayStation Now’s all you can eat service has finally been dated for PS3. Subscriptions to PS Now, Sony’s cloud-based gaming service, will be available on PS3 from May 12 in the US. The all you can eat package will also be made available on select Bravia TVs and Sony Blu-ray players on the same date. […]

  • GTA 5 is even better with a gravity gun

    GTA 5 modders have made a dream come true, adding a gravity gun to your arsenal of mayhem-causing weaponry. GTA 5 isn’t ready for this. It looks like a heck of a lot of fun, but the poor old Los Santos po po can’t deal with the resulting carnage at all. If Rockstar were ever […]

  • “Mod makers should be able to make money from their creations,” says DOOM creator

    DOOM co-creator John Romero has weighed in on the paid mods debate. Paid mods are a hot issue right now. For years, Valve has been enabling content creators to make money from their work on Counter-strike: Global offensive, Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2, but when it partnered with Bethesda to offer the same for […]

  • Watch WRC driver Kevin Abbring smash through a DIRT Rally challenge

    WRC driver Kevin Abbring has been participating in Dirt Rally’s daily events – and kicking ass. Dirt Rally seems to have ticked one of the most difficult to attain boxes of racing development – creating something professional drivers like to play, and which rewards their years of experience. Codemasters published the video below showing Hyundai […]

  • Mortal Kombat X patch to bring PC version up to console standard

    Mortal Kombat X PC will be fixed tomorrow, NetherRealm has promised. The PC version of Mortal Kombat X has come under fire for poor performance, including stuttering frame rate and bugs as plenty. About 45 minutes into a recent Twitch stream, NetherRealm boss Ed Boon said an update will drop tomorrow to address many of […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: all new Crucible maps detailed

    Destiny’s House of Wolves DLC will add four new maps to the Crucible, the game’s competitive multiplayer mode. Let’s take a look at all of them. Alex brings you new footage showing all of the four maps that will drop with House of Wolves. He goes over the layout, landmarks, gameplay styles, and other important […]

  • Custom Xbox One Star Wars controllers look very tempting

    Microsoft is celebrating May 4 by showing off concept designs for Star Wars-themed Xbox One controllers. May 4 is of course Star Wars Day and the controller concepts you’re about to see are just that, concepts. Or at least that’s what they said they are. There are four designs and they don’t look very practical. […]

  • Project Cars launch trailer is an anthology of race cars, set to the beats of Deadmau5

    Project Cars comes out this week and there’s just enough time for one last trailer. Project Cars, Slightly Mad Studios’ ambitious racer that has been in development for ages, is finally coming out this week. The racer received plenty of changes throughout its development based on community feedback and the final product will be in […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront dev reveals planet Sullust

    Sullust, a planet that has not been previously shown, will be featured in one of Star Wars Battlefront’s maps. Star Wars Battlefront developer DICE revealed today that planet Sullust will be one of the game’s locations. The planet was mentioned in the films and other Star Wars works, but was only shown today. DICE posted […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: Tower vendor changes

    House of Wolves will change the inventory of some of Destiny’s vendors and add new roles to others. Here’s everything that has been announced so far. You know that House of Wolves will bring a new social space to the game in the form of The Reef. But did you also know that the good […]

  • Nintendo apologises for Amiibo shortages, will reissue some out-of-stock figures

    Nintendo released a statement today to apologise for fan’s frustrations in finding some Amiibo figures and promised to handle distribution better going forward. Nintendo has been criticised recently for its lack of communication when it comes to new Amiibo figures. Something which has lead fans to not know if certain figures are limited to some […]

  • Halo: MCC “a black eye for us,” Halo 5 won’t suffer the same fate, says franchise director

    The development of Halo: The Master Chief Collection was of an “outrageous complexity,” which was one of the reasons it suffered a horrible launch. None of that will happen with Halo 5: Guardians, according to Frank O’Connor. Frank O’Connor, Halo franchise development director opened up to Xbox Achievements about the difficult task of developing The […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: weapon Reforging explained

    When House of Wolves drops in a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to change the stats of some in-game weapons. This process is called ‘Reforging’. Alex goes over all the details Bungie revealed about the new Reforging system. This covers the materials you need, the weapons that can be reforged and much more. Make […]

  • GTA 5 PC: control the in-game phone with your iPhone using this mod

    GTA 5′s latest mod lets you control the in-game phone with your real-life iPhone. Reddit user Planetleak wanted to see if he would succeed in getting his iPhone to control the phone in GTA 5. He did it and has a video to prove it. It’s not a mod per-se, but it emulates mouse and […]

  • SoulCalibur dev wants to know fans’ favourite characters for “something huge”

    SoulCalibur developers are probably working on a new game, because they’re asking fans to vote on their favourite characters. Project Soul, the longtime developer of the SoulCalibur series is soliciting feedback on fans’ favourite characters. The developer said as much in a post on its Facebook page. “Calling all SoulCalibur Fans! Project Soul would like […]

  • Jason Voorhees doesn’t look out of place in new Mortal Kombat X trailer

    Jason Voorhees comes to Mortal Kombat X starting tomorrow and it’s time to celebrate his arrival. Jason Voorhees, the first DLC character for Mortal Kombat X has been given the trailer treatment. Jason is part of the game’s Kombat Pack, owners of which can start using him tomorrow, May 5. Being an iconic horror character, […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition – Dragonslayer DLC announced, free to all this week

    Dragon Age: Inquisition is getting a multiplayer expansion this week. BioWare has announced that all owners of Dragon Age: Inquisition will receive a new multiplayer expansion, for free. The expansion is called Dragonslayer and it’s centred around fighting dragons, hence the name. Three new playable characters will join the roster as you explore an all-new […]

  • Sonder is still happening, and this is the best news of the week

    Sonder is a really interesting-looking new indie adventure, which I am quite excited to remember exists. We first heard about Sonder in late 2013, when its debut trailer introduced us to a Kamai Media’s ambitious vision. In the intervening months Kamai has been hard at work on its space station management sim slash non-linear narrative […]

  • Twitter axes playable Internet Archive embeds

    The dream has died: Twitter has disabled Internet Archive game embeds. Remember how for a few days you could tweet a link to an a game on the Internet Archive and it was playable direct from that tweet? Well, Twitter has cancelled that. All those tweets now just show links. GamesIndustry suspects it has something […]

  • Lords of the Fallen, Divinity: Original Sin developers will reveal new games at E3 2015

    Lords of the Fallen developer Deck13 and Divinity: Original Sin developer Larian Studios have new projects in the works which will be revealed at E3 2015. Publisher Focus Home Interactive is behind both new games. In a French press release [PDF] spotted by RPG Codex, Focus said it will show off the two unrevealed titles […]

  • Rare game announce expected at E3 2015

    Rare’s new game will be shown off at E3 2015, apparently. Rare hasn’t announced a reveal, and neither has Microsoft, but it looks like the news has slipped out anyway. IGN cites a tweet from Rare creative director Simon Woodroffe in which he says that a new project from Rare designer Gregg Mayles will be […]

  • Batgirl expansion included in $40 Batman: Arkham Knight season pass

    Here’s what you get in the $40 Batman: Arkham Knight season pass. Batman: Arkham Knight’s season pass was announced last week, but apart from the news that it would cost a whopping $40/£33, we didn’t get many details of what it would include. Thankfully, Warner Bros. has since acknowledged the clamour this caused, as players […]

  • Star Wars Day Xbox sale discounts Force Unleashed, Lego games

    Star Wars Day is upon us, and here’s an Xbox sale to mark it. Microsoft is offering discounts on Xbox 360 games to celebrate May 4. From my desk here in Australia the sale is a bit light on content – two Lego games, plus The Force Unleashed and its DLC packs. Your mileage may […]

  • Here’s hoping this tease means we see Mass Effect at E3 2015

    Mass Effect boss Mike Gamble has shared a teaser image, which we’re more than happy to draw speculative conclusions from. The new Mass Effect game in the works at BioWare Edmonton is a mysterious beast. Judging by how long it’s been in development, it feels like we’re about due for a proper reveal, to clear […]

  • Watch almost a whole hour of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is almost here. Are you ready for old-school shooter action? Wolfenstein: The Old Blood publisher Bethesda livestreamed almost an hour of the Machine Games shooter recently, and has now uploaded the archive to YouTube. Check it out below: Wolfenstein: The Old Blood launches digitally on PC, PS4 and Xbox One on […]

  • Splatoon lacks voice chat to promote a positive online experience

    Nintendo’s multiplayer game Splatoon will not contain a voice chat option in order to “focus on the positive aspects” of online gaming. Speaking in the latest issue of Edge magazine (thanks, GamesRadar), Splatoon co-director Yusuke Amano said personal experience with negativity in online voice chat was one of the main reasons for excluding the feature. […]

  • D4 on PC: differences from Xbox One version, system specs announced

    D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die – Season 1 is coming to PC, and Access Games has provided a list of features different from the Xbox One version. We’ve pulled most of the changes off the game’s website and posted them below, along with the PC specs. D4 on PC Kinect gesture input controls replaced with […]

  • The Megalodon returns to Battlefield 4 with the latest CTE patch

    The Megalodon Easter Egg in Battlefield 4 may have been removed earlier this year from Naval Strike, but it has since resurfaced on the CTE with the latest patch. I’d make a Jaws reference, but it’s been done to death. The shark is shown in the video on the Paracel Storm map which was where […]

  • Survival horror game Kodoku has a new work-in-progress trailer

    Kodoku, the survival horror title from Carnivore Studio, has a new work-in-progress video available, showing you how the game is coming along. Announced for PlayStation 4 and Vita back in 2013, the game is slated for release sometime this year, and tasks the player with avoiding mythical Japanese ghosts using only magic and stealth. Thanks, […]

  • Current HoloLens prototype has noticeably “tighter” FoV compared to January build

    Microsoft’s augmented reality headset HoloLens is still very much in the prototype stage, according to various reports out of the Build Conference. Microsoft hasn’t discussed technical specs with the press yet as nothing is set in stone, but during a hands-on at Build, Ars Technica noticed the prototypes had a “x86 processor, 2GB RAM, 802.11ac […]