Valve wants community-funded games

Written by Joe Martin

July 21, 2009 // 11:53 a.m.

Tags: #budget #community #invest #pre-order #sales #valve #valve-wants-community-funded-games

Valve founder Gabe Newell has spoken out about a radical new idea which could fundamentally change the way that computer and video games are developed and sold - the idea that gamers pay for them.

More specifically, Newell's idea is that gamers as a group consider funding development of a title before release in the same way that a publisher might - effectively creating community-published games.

Speaking to ABC, Newell suggested that community-funded games may be a great way to offset the huge costs and risks that developers and publishers face when creating a new title, saying that it may be a good way for gamers to get more involved in the way a game develops too.

"Right now, what typically happens is you have this budget - it needs to be huge, it has to be $10m - $30m, and it has to be all available at the beginning of the project. There's a huge amount of risk associated with those dollars and decisions have to be incredibly conservative," said Newell.

"What I think would be much better would be if the community could finance the games. In other words, ‘Hey, I really like this idea you have. I'll be an early investor in that and, as a result, at a later point I may make a return on that product, but I'll also get a copy of that game.'"

"So move financing from something that occurs between a publisher and a developer… Instead have it be something where funding is coming out of community for games and game concepts they really like."

Hmm. It's an interesting idea, sure - but for AAA titles we're not sure it would ever take off to be honest. Plus, it all sounds a bit too hippy-ish for us, so we might have to consider taking some anti-hippy action as a result. You tell us what you think in the forums and, in the mean time, we'll get our guns and pepper-spray ready.

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