PS3 News: Traditional Old-School Ideas Forced To Go The Kickstarter Route - PS3 News

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Traditional Old-School Ideas Forced To Go The Kickstarter Route

Yeah, I know exactly what you're going to say:

"Of course old ideas should be relegated to the world of independent gaming. Not enough people want it anymore and besides, the new stuff is obviously better."

I'm not going to argue with any of that. I'm really not because despite the implied sweeping generalization in the second part, it's basically true. However, I do find it a little sad that some of the industry's most accomplished designers are being forced to take the Kickstarter route just because they want to make a game that "old" gamers will enjoy. Final Fantasy Tactics director Yasumi Matsuno, for instance, has a new Kickstarter campaign for Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians, and it sounds fantastic.

That's hardly the only example, though. Some campaigns work; some don't. They tried to get a new Mutant League Football off the ground but that didn't fly. On the other hand, I think a surprising number of old-school projects get the funding they require, which says something. It says that while those veteran gamers may not have as much time as they once did, while they freely acknowledge the advances the industry has made, they still have a soft spot for certain forms of gameplay you just don't find anymore. This isn't about irrational nostalgia for crappy graphics; this is about nostalgia for a form of interactive entertainment that, while indeed outdated, is absolutely dying away. Sad but true.

I just wonder if it ever feels somewhat demeaning to these legendary icons of gaming. I mean, if I worked for decades in an industry, only to be rewarded with publishers who don't want to fund my "old-fashioned" ideas, and I was forced to beg for money (let's face it, that's what Kickstarter is), I'd feel just a tad bitter. In a lot of ways, I think they deserve better treatment. But where are they to find it in an industry that is dominated by mainstream appeal? Things have just changed so drastically.

Tags: kickstarter, kickstarter games, retro games, gaming industry

1/15/2014 10:21:20 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (22 posts)

WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 @ 10:46:32 PM
Reply

Kickstarter is an awesome advancement but I don't think we can use crowd sourcing as a decent enough measure to tell whether or not there is a big enough desire for old school gameplay. I think that's the reality though.

Until a crowd sourced project that is old school absolutely explodes in sales our favorite gameplay types are probably stuck in that hell. Which is a shame because I do think that there are more than enough gamers who would still embrace this stuff if it was done right and marketed.

In a nutshell, I think Final Fantasy XIII would have sold almost double what it did if it stuck to the formula. Kooky indie games are often ONLY a nostalgia trip, and that's not enough to move massive sales.

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slow and smart
Thursday, January 16, 2014 @ 10:24:11 AM

right on!

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xenris
Thursday, January 16, 2014 @ 10:33:47 AM

Star citizen and Double fines adventure kind of exploded BUT haven't released yet.

It remains to be seen if the hype and anticipation will be worth it or if everyone will be disappointed.

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SaiyanSempai
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 @ 10:55:39 PM
Reply

I wouldn't go so far as to say going through kickstarter is "begging." It's just a means to get your work funded. Is there a difference in "begging" a major publisher for money as opposed to "begging" individuals through kickstarter?

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SaiyanSempai
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 @ 11:01:12 PM

Heck, the developer might even be able to retain more creative control over their game with kickstarter instead of having to deal with certain publishers.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 @ 11:25:48 PM

It's really just semantics, basically you take your idea to the people and ask them to pledge money. You could consider that an investment opportunity if you wanted, or you could consider it begging for the funds to get it done. Both characterizations would be right.

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Underdog15
Thursday, January 16, 2014 @ 2:08:04 AM

It's not an investment in my books, personally. It is in the sense they give rewards to people who invest certain amounts, I guess. But to me, if I can't profit from an investment, then it's a donation. And donations are charitable by nature.

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Kryten1029a
Thursday, January 16, 2014 @ 2:42:13 AM

There are ideas out there that might well be bankable but they might not be massive sellers (the only kind that seem to get funding) and the publishers don't want to take the risk. Kickstarter is a means not only for devs to get funding, but it's a promotional tool and a way for them to gauge whether there's an audience for their game. If it enables the likes of Tim Schafer and Chris Roberts to do their thing then so be it.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, January 16, 2014 @ 10:15:00 AM

Fair enough. I like to think whichever devs I choose to support I'm investing a certain amount in their future in this neato hobby I enjoy.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 @ 11:08:30 PM
Reply

I'm torn on these kickstarter projects. For games they seem like a great idea but when I was considering starting one to help fund my bands next record, I felt like it would be a handout. It doesn't feel right to ask for money to make the record then charge people for said record. So I'v elected to just do it the old fashion old. D.I.Y. :)

Last edited by Jawknee on 1/15/2014 11:10:52 PM

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SaiyanSempai
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 @ 11:36:09 PM

Yeah, I hear you on that, but you can always have rewards for certain pledge amounts. Say, getting the album if you pledge x amount of money, an album and a poster for pledging xy amount of money, etc.

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telly
Thursday, January 16, 2014 @ 12:57:05 PM

Yep. And at least you guys are (I assume!) not established musicians. Can you imagine Led Zeppelin doing a kickstarter? Ludicrous. Jimmy Page (and to an extent, John Paul Jones) were established veterans who didn't need to ask for money from fans before they lifted a finger so that they could enjoy a financial risk-free venture. They believed in the strength of their "product", took it to the masses and eventually commanded HUGE financial gains.

It just strikes me as awfully unlikely that rich, established developers can only pursue their projects if they get money from fans, no strings attached, up front. You mean to tell me not a single publisher -- not Square Enix, not Atlus, not Sony, not ANYONE -- would give the creator of Final Fantasy Tactics the $600,000 he's seeking to make the spiritual successor to FFT? Or did the creator of Final Fantasy Tactics see an opportunity to get that $600K risk free with ZERO strings attached and took it? It just rubs me the wrong way. I need more facts -- are these guys REALLY backed into corners financially? Hard to believe.

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Jawknee
Thursday, January 16, 2014 @ 2:29:40 PM

Yea we're still working at establishing ourselves. ;) we made some gains a few years ago by getting signed to Nitro records which typically the record label fronts the recording costs and recoups the costs from your record sales but Dexter decided he'd rather make hot sauce than support his bands. XD oh well, it was a learning experience if nothing else. But yea I imagine these guys couldn't get the big guys to invest in their idea. Much like Crapcom killing Mega Man, forcing its creator to start his own studio and remaking his original idea into something new. He didn't have the cash flow (I assume) to start a new 2 million dollar project so he took to kickstarter. Which I won't begrudge but when I was considering it, I just couldn't shake the feeling that it was asking for charity. I know other bands, bands I like who aren't big who have done it but I just couldn't go there. I'll just have to save up and pay for our studio time the old fashioned way.

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SaiyanSempai
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 @ 11:41:41 PM
Reply

The thing that scares me about Unsung Story, and the only reason I haven't donated any money to the cause, is that it is a game announced for android and iphone smartphones as well as PC.

It's the smartphone part that causes my hesitation.

If it was for just PC or PC and consoles I would be all in.

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___________
Thursday, January 16, 2014 @ 2:27:44 AM
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really hope allot more platforms adon the steam early access and greenlight project.
the community gets to vote for what they want to see, and not only that but they get early access to the games while their in development too.
makes me wish i jumped on project cars when it was available really want to play it now but they have closed access.
oh well, big bears new destruction derby game came out on steam today so that will fill the void.
soft body physics, its about f*cking time someone brought this to this industry!
kaz, PLEASE, can we PLEASE have soft body physics in GT7?

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Beamboom
Thursday, January 16, 2014 @ 2:32:54 AM
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The one thing that makes Kickstarter *really* interesting is when projects are testing completely new ideas, or are so crazy ambitious that no publisher *dare* to do it. Like that Star Citizen game that took Internet by storm.

May I also remind you all that Oculus Rift started as a Kickstarter project.

So products and genres that uses crowdfunding to become reality is by no means doomed to be forever funded by the public.

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slow and smart
Thursday, January 16, 2014 @ 10:32:53 AM

indeed,good idea's can be succesful

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xenris
Thursday, January 16, 2014 @ 10:55:28 AM
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I don't even think that new games are even much better than older games, it is ALL relative really.

I think gamers in general want to see new creative ideas come out, like minecraft, terarria, journey etc. But we also want to have games in existing genres come out that don't betray the formula. Like a good JRPG, or turn based RPG that has the eb and flow we are used to but adds some new things in that fit within the genre.

Buuut we don't really get that. We get shooters, shooters and some more shooters then games from other genres trying to add more twitch shooter elements into their games for more sales and mass appeal.

I just want veteran devs to make games out of the crazy cool unique never before experienced ideas that have been swirling around their brains for over a decade. Thankfully that is what kickstarter is here for.

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broox9
Thursday, January 16, 2014 @ 5:18:53 PM
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if (IFF 12 == PS3.PS2Classic ) then me = 'happy'

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Akuma07
Thursday, January 16, 2014 @ 11:55:53 PM
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The problem with Kickstarter, is that it isn't teaching Publishers ANYTHING.

Star Citizen, the most successful kickstarter in existance, is a spiritual successor to a previous classic, and one that publishers would not touch with a ten foot pole in todays industry. $36 million seems to prove them wrong.

Other devs who are going back to create something from the old days have been successful, and Pubs still haven't learnt that there is money to be made from old classics that DON'T need to feel more like COD.

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sobleck
Friday, January 17, 2014 @ 7:58:59 AM
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I don't think its a depressing, or demeaning thing at all. Its a great way for developers to reach out to fans, and for fans to get the games they want.

Its essentially given them a new avenue to make these games while big corporations focus on tweaked versions of their franchises (for the most part) or whatever it is they feel will generate a lot of revenue.

I for one do not see it as demeaning, but as breath of fresh air. Developers setting out on their own to make games they are passionate about, free from corporate control.

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Caanimal
Sunday, January 19, 2014 @ 10:08:58 PM
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Newer games are "BETTER" than older games??? Hmm let me see here, I have probably around 1500 hours on Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, the next closest game is getting close to 400 and that's Oblivion, next would come New Vegas and Fallout 3 and Skyrim all w/ around 250 hour played... At one time I had 6 different play throughs of SotN, and I still play it once in a while just to fool around.

New =/= better...

Course on the flip side I'd love another FFT.

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