Wasteland 2 was recently delayed. This Kickstarter update explains this in detail.
While I have no issues with this as a backer and customer (games get delayed all the time, which is always better than a publisher forcing a project out the door unfinished), some of the details in the update got my attention for entirely different reasons.
This is primarily due to our disciplined spending, project planning and the benefit of our back catalog sales to cover any extra product features and content we loved.
It’s also important to note that we do not profit from the monies raised from crowd funding as we take 100% of that money (plus extra money in our case) and put it into the game
There is also Paypal, which has been a continued option for new backers to pledge or existing backers to increase their exisiting contribution. This too goes entirely into the game.
So here’s my concern. What room is there for profiting from this business model? Retail sales of course, once the game has shipped. But… How many people likely to buy the game haven’t done so already via the original Kickstarter campaign or Paypal throughout the development? Did the entire market already secure one or more copies? (Some tiers give access to gift copies for friends). Naturally it can’t be 100% but it seems to me with the coverage W2 has gotten there can’t be too many people still waiting to get the game post launch (this is just an impression of course and I could be wrong).
But will it be enough to keep Inxile in business with support costs to cover and paychecks that still need to be issued?
Of course there are future projects like Numenara but to me it seems like rinse and repeat, using the same profitless model until release…
As a fan and a backer I hope Inxile hasn’t set themselves up to at best break even on each project. That would mean they can only be around as long as they can hit a new home run like they did twice already… But how long can that last?
I think I’d rather hear they didn’t put everything they’ve got into each title. That could be a tricky policy to uphold PR-wise however.