Thu, Apr 25, 2013 | 02:19 BST
InXile head talks crowdfunding and audience focus
CEO of InXile, Brian Fargo, not only successfully Kickstarted Wasteland II but also a second project, the Planescape: Torment based RPG, Torment: Tides of Numenera. He discusses why it makes sense to run the projects this way, focusing game development on the audience, crowdfunding and more.
Fargo explains the motivation to launch the Torment Kickstarter while Wasteland II is still in the works. “We’re pretty much done on the design side,” Fargo said about Wasteland II. This means the design team is ready to start on a new project and programmers can work on getting Wasteland II running. “This is just a much healthier process for making quality games.” It obviously helps keep the teams employed as well. Thanks to StumbleUpon.
Torment’s Kickstarter campaign has successfully reached over $4 million, pointing to InXile’s knack at creating winning campaigns. “Every title follows the same distribution,” Fargo said. “The first five days and the last five days are the big ones, and in the middle it’s fairly flat.”
“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 synch 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.”
He goes on to explain his attempt to connect with bigger publishers. “I reached out to some publishers and said ‘Hey, you should support us and I could talk about how you guys support indies.’” Responses were weak though, most along the lines of, “We should find a way to do business, how about if we do the marketing for you?”
This doesn’t concern Fargo too much though. “It’s not like the publishers are worried too much by this; our numbers are not too interesting to them, 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.”
Check out more on InExile, Fargo, Wasteland II and Torment here.