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Kickstarter not in fatigue but niches harder to fill, says Brian Fargo

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Brian Fargo, the creator of crowdfunded project Wasteland 2, doesn't believe there's a fatigue on Kickstarter.

The inXile Entertainment founder said the most successful projects are those that only exist through crowdfunding, or fill a niche that's missing in the market, which is becoming more difficult over time.

Brian Fargo

Brian Fargo


"I think sometimes some of the projects that have failed is Kickstarter doing its job," he told Digital Spy.

"Which is saying, 'We don't really want that, or there's already too much like it'. I think it worked very well for us, and it worked well for [Broken Age's Tim] Schafer, because it's quite honest to say this game wouldn't have existed without it, period, because we're a middle-ground developer, we're not two guys.

"I think the projects that do most well on Kickstarter are things where you've been denied the ability to get it somehow, or there's a hole in the marketplace that needs to be filled with a fanbase behind it.

"Well, those holes have been filled over the past couple of years. It's getting harder to find things where people resonate and think, 'I really want some of those things'.

"I don't think it's so much it's a Kickstarter fatigue, but if there isn't a strong demand - if they think there's a bunch of those out there - then I think it's very difficult. I think that's where some people are hitting some problems."

Still from Wasteland 2 game development

© InXile Entertainment

Wasteland 2 was funded through Kickstarter


Fargo points to last year's Mighty No. 9 as an example of a Kickstarter seeing great success due to demand.

"People were saying [Kickstarter] was dead last year, then came Mighty No. 9, which did four million dollars, because people really wanted a Mega Man sequel from [Keiji Inafune].

"They weren't getting it, they were being denied it, and boom, it did four million dollars.

"Kickstarters continue to do million dollar [fundings], there's a lot of board games and other things that hit. They're still working, but you truly got to be filling a niche. It feels like there's always too many of them. It's just hard to do well."

Mighty No 9 is the spiritual successor to Mega Man

© Comcept USA

Mighty No. 9 is a recent example of a successful Kickstarter project


Fargo said Wasteland 2 would be just as successful if it emerged on Kickstarter today because it would still fill a niche.

"There was a Fallout audience that loved one and two, and they wanted something more like that than where Fallout 3 and New Vegas went.

"Not that those are bad, but they wanted a more tactical, isometric, post-apocalyptic role-playing game. In that particular case, it hadn't been done.

"Now if somebody came up with another one after us, it wouldn't do as well, I think, because we would have been scratching that itch.

"As Schafer delivers more adventure games, the next person can't come along and say, 'You don't get adventure games anymore'. Well, you do now actually. You're starting to get it, with The Walking Dead, and through that, you're getting those things."


Fargo added that he would be interested in using crowdfunding for future projects because it proves the value of an idea ahead of time.

"It's a great litmus test for whether the concept's any good," he explained.

"I'd like to know more now rather than afterwards, because I've got lots of ideas, because I'd rather do one that people are going to want to play the most - and they get so engaged.

"When people vote with their money, they're much more engaged. Everybody wants something, but they're more passive. Once they're involved... our fans have been so helpful with us, whether it's from localisation to creation to feedback and everything, [and] that's wonderful.


"Once we deliver on this game, then it becomes less of a, 'Will they deliver?' The scepticism is, 'Are they going to take our money, are they going to blow it?'

"Now if we're delivering, at that point it becomes, 'Well these guys deliver, I'm going to pay earlier and get it for cheaper'."

Harmonix's Amplitude reached its Kickstarter goal earlier today (May 23) after a last minute resurgence in funds, securing over half its total in four days.

Kickstarter recently passed one billion dollars in pledges, with gaming projects being the most popular.

Wasteland 2 was recently announced for an August release date, while Fargo will reveal the game's opening cinematic at MCM London Comic Con this weekend.

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