Kickstarter was founded for one explicit purpose: to get the world to help out the little guy. That’s exactly what Tim Schafer is trying to do. His goal is not a simple one. He is looking to raise $400,000 in a little over a month to fund Double Fine’s next big adventure. This news comes hot on the heels of the reveal that Notch, the developer of Minecraft, has decided to open up dialog for a Psychonauts 2 publishing deal.
Tim Schafer has been at the forefront of many publishing deals gone bad. The original Psychonauts was set to have an exclusive publishing deal with Microsoft before they left the table. They then had to pair with Majesco and give up their publication rights until their contract lapsed last year. Brütal Legend was given the same treatment when their original publisher Sierra’s parent company Vivendi was bought out by Activision. When Activision went forward with canceling the project EA stepped up to publish it. This led to some legal issues and was very messy, but they got the game out.
Their page even cites the reason they are going ahead with this project is to escape many of the hoops publishers force the team to jump through. That these publishing deals come “with significant strings attached that can pull the game in the wrong directions or even cancel its production altogether.” With a history this deep in publisher problems, I think this could be the first real step forward for Double Fine to create a game that is truly their own.
The proposed project is a point and click adventure expected for release around October 2012. It will be interesting to see what comes out of this.