Some gamers will have to admit their age today. Psychonauts 2 is (probably) happening thanks to a crowdfunding campaign. Double Fine is launching a $3.3 million crowdfunding initiative through Fig, a platform that allows fans to take part in a game’s funding.
Will Psychonauts cost more than $3.3 million? Of course, but think of it as focus testing without having to pay for focus testing. In fact, we know the sequel will cost upwards of $18 million according to Minecraft’s creator Markus Persson.
“I somewhat naively thought ‘a couple of million’ was two million. I had no doubt in my mind that a Psychonauts 2 would earn that money back easily. Turns out they wanted 18 million dollars, haha.”
$18 million and $3.3 million. I may have majored in Political Science, but there’s a gap. What gives? Double Fine’s press release offers some of the details.
“Double Fine will be putting up a significant portion of the development funds ourselves, and getting another piece of the budget from an external partner. This Fig campaign will make up the third piece of the budget.”
Market testing without fronting the cost. Fans prove they are willing to wait until 2018 for the game. Think early access without anything in return.
Major titles turning to crowdfunding strikes me as odd. Shenmue 3 did it, but it was a PR ploy. Psychonauts 2 is crowdfunding and saying the $3.3 million represents a third of the budget. Again, not a math major, but game development has gotten cheaper since 2013? That’s a new one.
You probably notice the platform they are using is Fig versus the typical Kickstarter route. What’s the deal? Fig is gaming-centric and allows accredited investors to jump in and share in the revenue of the game.
Oh, and Double Fine Productions CEO Tim Schaefer happens to be one of the main people behind the platform.
Many are hanging their hats on the accredited investor angle. We shouldn’t as fans. It’s a way to attract speculative cash. Investors who love gaming and want generous terms can look over the term sheet and jump in.
It doesn’t offer additional guarantees but does give game studios access to capital they wouldn’t otherwise have.
Here’s the quick description of the sequel from the Fig campaign page:
“In Psychonauts 2, Raz realizes his dream and visits Psychonauts Headquarters. However, when he gets there, he finds it’s not the perfect place he expected and quickly realizes that the Psychonauts need him more than he needs them.
Psychonauts 2 will feature a new hub world inside Psychonauts HQ. You’ll access new mental worlds as Raz peeks inside the minds of a host of new characters who need his help to combat their inner demons and unravel their deep-seated emotional issues. Raz will hone his secret agent PSI-abilities-and learn new ones too using them to solve mysteries and uncover evil plots.”
How about a trailer?
What about pricing? $10 will get your name in the credits along with a digital download (OSX, Windows and Linux). $33 earns you the same as the above plus Psychonauts 1 and the option to go DRM-free via Humble. An $18 add-on is available for Xbox One or PS4 editions.
From there you start to get into special editions with collectibles items – art books, figurines, physical copies of the game, etc.
Everything is expected to ship in Fall 2018. Yeah, you’ll need some patience for this one.
The campaign was announced last night and with 34 days left it is rapidly approaching the $1 million mark. It’s safe to say the $3.3 million will be breached, and the ball will be in Double Fine’s court.