Chris Roberts on Crowd-Funding: Gamers “Don’t Have Input on How Call of Duty’s Being Made”
The industry veteran talks about the benefits of crowd-funding for both the industry and gamers.
Speaking about the future of crowd funding to Games Industry International, Star Citizen creator and industry veteran Chris Roberts stated that it will be a part of games going forward and benefit more niche titles.
“You’ll still have these big blockbusters, and that’s going to be the domain of EA, Activision and Ubisoft. What I do think what has happened is that the middle ground that used to exist, and the publishers used to fund, like my games or an RTS, would sell a million or two million units.
“On the Activision and EA scale of things they’re not getting out of bed unless they think it’s five million units, and they really want ten million or more. They probably lose money selling two million units. Whereas if I sell two million units I’m making a lot of money, for two reasons. I don’t have the same overhead and costs, and also I capture a lot more of the dollars. On our stuff right now, we capture 96 percent of the dollars; that goes straight to us.
“In the old model as a developer I would have captured 20 cents on the dollar. Ultimately that means I can make the same game for a fifth of the revenue, a fifth of the sales, and I can be more profitable, and I can exist on lower unit sales.
“I think that’s good for gamers, because crowdfunding and digital distribution are enabling more niche stuff to be viable. It’s also allowing gamers to have their voice heard, and have their influence earlier in the process. You don’t really have your input into how Call of Duty’s being made.”
Considering the response to Star Citizen’s Kickstarter campaign, where it raised $2,134,374 in 30 days, there’s definitely a market for gamers who seek new experiences and want their voices to be heard.