Gaming industry veterans have created a new crowdfunding platform called Fig that wants to “re-invent how games get funded”. The team includes former Fallout developers and Double Fine staff.
So what differentiates Fig from Kickstarter? First, the platform is solely focused on video games, so it can be optimized for the game development pipeline. Second, Fig is bringing something to crowdfunding that has been talked about for a while now, equity. Fig hopes to give each backer a stake in the company, something that would have been appreciated by the Oculus VR backers when it was acquired by Facebook for billions.
This “investment crowdfunding” isn’t fully realized yet, but Fig hopes to have it soon. “Investment crowdfunding is currently limited to accredited investors only, but pursuant to a recent regulatory development, Fig plans to open up investment opportunities to everyone in the near future,” said Fig. The investment model will create a production company for each specific title and this will be where their money goes. Fig will hold distribution rights, while the developer retains IP rights.
Fig explains that not all projects will be investment-based. Some will be reward-only. Also, the site will host only one campaign at any given time.
Fig was created by former Double Fine COO Justin Bailey and the initial investment comes from Spark Capital, which invested in Oculus, Slack, and Twitter in the past. The company’s board of advisors include Tim Schafer (Double Fine), Feargus Urquhart (Obsidian Entertainment), and Brian Fargo (inXile Entertainment), who have all gone through the crowdfunding experience at least once. They plan on launching new projects from their studios through the platform in the future. The board members will hear pitches and provide mentorship to the developers they choose. Fig will support the successfully funded games “through the entire life cycle” of the game.
Fargo explains, “Feargus, Tim, and I have all experienced the many challenges of bringing our games to market and nurturing great talent along the way. We’re proud to be creating an ecosystem that better supports developers and their fans in the quest to bring their passion projects to life–and we believe Fig will become the best option to get games funded in the future.”
The first project being featured on Fig is entitled Outer Wilds, which is the recent recipient of the Grand Prize and Excellence in Design at the 2015 Independent Games Festival. The game is being developed by Heroes actor Masi Oka’s Mobius Digital studio and has a funding goal of $125,000.