Well, isn’t this lovely? “We’re making a switch from console work-for-hire and going to direct to consumer and free-to-play projects,” Double Fine’s vice president of business development Justin Bailey has told VentureBeat. “That process has taken place over the last 18 months.”
The move has been enabled by a ream of new business models over the last few years, including Kickstarter, free-to-play, and the outside investment of people like self-described “fan with money” Steve Dengler - without whom Stacking and Costume Quest would likely never have made it to PC.
Says Bailey: “It is complicated to keep straight, but we have crowdfunding, self-publishing, the mobile studio, and some legacy business. We are now majority-funded by crowdfunding or outside investment. By next year, hopefully that transition will be complete.”
And good for them. If anybody knows the woes to be had under the yoke of AAA publishing, it’s Tim Schafer: “Let’s face it, anything beats the traditional game funding model. It’s like a loan with a really horrible interest rate. No revenue usually until you’ve not just paid back the development cost, but paid it back many times over. Plus, lots of entanglements with intellectual property usually.”