Outgoing Twisted Metal Creator Would Consider Kickstarter Funding For His New Project, Too

Despite his fears — as only he could express them — that crowdfunding for video games could become "a dick measuring contest", Twisted Metal creator David Jaffe says he'd consider a Kickstarter project for backing, as he embarks on life starting up a new development studio.

Of course the games development world sat up and took notice of Double Fine studio's Kickstarter project, the #1 news event of the week after it raked in more than $US1 million (and counting) from gamers wishing to see another graphic adventure from Tim Schafer. "I think the real question whether in the next month, if [Double Fine's campaign] hits $US2 million or $US8 million, does that signal a new way of funding games?" Jaffe told Gamasutra. "Or is this kind of a one-off thing, because it was led by Tim Schafer? Is this actually moving the needle? That, we don't know."

Earlier this week, Jaffe said he would leave Eat, Sleep, Play, the Utah-based studio he helped found, and will form another studio in San Diego to work on new projects. He told Gamasutra he's pondering a free-to-play browser-based game that, Gamasutra said, "will implement a secretive business model."

While he would consider crowdfunding, "I think I would be really nervous because suddenly now it's not just a publisher's money," he said. "Suddenly you have all these peoples' money, and you don't want to let them down."

Jaffe's got much more to say on this subject and others, so please do visit Gamasutra to read it all.

Jaffe would consider Kickstarter for new projects [Gamasutra]


    when I first heard about Jaffe I thought he was a knob. as time marches by I realise he's one of the few truly enlightened and realistic developers out there who's really worth listenibg to... and still a bit of a knob :)

    I'd gladly donate money to help Jaffe kickstart a project. He is the man. He says things how he see's them & isn't afraid of holding back, & I respect that in an industry of Bobby Koticks' & Kevin Butlers'. Plus the fact that Twisted Metal was the first game I played on the ps1 back in '95, so it means alot to me. Just tell us how much you need:)

    I new wave of idiot gamers approach LETS BUY BEFORE WE TRY!!!! YAY :D HERP DERP

      Yep, it's a fair point. The new age of game companies profiting off blind investments by gamers.

      'Take all the risk and responsibility for my project and none of the benefits if it's successful. Yay!'

        If it's done properly then I believe some sort of dividend should be paid to the backers much the same way a shareholder does with a floated company. Of after all they did help get the product made.

        I don't think it would work in every case as there are only a handful of project leads that could pull it off, Tim, Jaffe, Ken or Sid. However when it is appropriate, as in Tim's case, it's a great thing.

    Unfortunately, internet support for Jaffe crumbled when he revealed that his next project was a simulator about getting blowjobs.

      Hardly, he could easily pull in a cool million if he asked for it.

        ''Hi Im the guy behind the original God of wa...''


        Tim Schaeffer is a legend but a more recent namedrop like Jaffe with GoWar and Twisted Metal series behind it? Dude would rake it in.

          Except that's the problem in my mind. Jaffe has Twisted metal series and GoW behind him.

          None of which have ever made it to PC. And i would guestimate that most of the money kicked in on Schafers came from the PC crowd.

          There is also the fact that Jaffe is currently coming from an unknown angle. Double fine for example has a history. Jaffe running off to make a new company not so much.
          Because he is the man who made so many great games for the platform.

          I wouldn't be giving any money to jaffe personally. At least not without a proper design document.

    I threw $30 Tim Schafer's way without a thought.. A new point and click adventure from Schafer and Gilbert makes my balls tingle..

    I first heard about crowd funding when Gabe Newel talked about it a couple of years back.. I'd also instantly give Valve money regardless of the project.

    I seriously doubt I'd put any money into a Jaffe project though..

    I honestly hadn't heard of Jaffe till last week with his BJ comments debacle.. sure I knew of Twisted Metal, but still, I couldn't see him putting forward a project I would have an interest in.

    Developers may not want it to turn into a dick measuring contest, but realistically there is only a few big name devs who could pull some worth while funding using this method.. at this early stage at least.

    Get Twisted Metal released on PC and 360 and then we'll talk.

      It's a Sony IP.

        Is it now? The first one was a PS exclusive but certainly wasn't developed by a Sony-owned company.

          That "Is it now?" isn't supposed to sound as sarcastic as it does. I meant, is it actually a Sony IP now? Because the first two games were not made by a Sony studio.

            Nor were the Resistance games, but that's still a Sony IP, too.

            It was published by sony to begin with. Which is basically enough to say that it is a sony IP. Since odds are they wouldn't have publisher it otherwise

              Again, how so?

              In my comment awaiting moderation. Stephen King got Carrie published through Doubleday, but it was and still is his IP. What's the difference between books (or any other medium) and videogames? I admit I have little to no knowledge on IP law but I assumed that it's about protecting the creator of the IP which in this case was not Sony nor a Sony owned company. So how is Twisted Metal a Sony IP?

                Because generally the way books work. Is that someone writes the book, then you acquire someone to publish and distribute it.

                However when it comes to video games the only way to make the game is to have someone fund it. And when your sitting there and the publisher says right well we'll publish it and fund development but we want exclusivity of the IP or we are going to walk out of here. Your going to say yes.

                Which is the core difference, Publishers enable developers to make the games they want. While the developer may have raw talent, making a game isn't a cheap exercise.

                I mean even for schafer's 300k game he would still have to convince someone to give him that money. And they would want to ensure that if his game is a huge success it is only they who can reap the reward from future titles, because in their minds they are the one who enabled him to have the success in the first place.

                While writers/musicians they have the talent themselves and for the most part it is pretty cheap to go out and record an album/write a book. Sure you then have to go and get it published.

                But holding the IP to say Harry Potter for a publisher doesn't really help you. Unlike games where the project is the sumparts of a team and as a result people can be swapped out with ease. Having someone else suddenly take over writing Harry Potter or any other book series doesn't really work, you can't capture the way the original writer was playing things out sometimes you just can't get it written the same.

                And unlike games you can't pump out a new book in a series every year. And when it comes to music, unless you own the band anything else they create is new IP because it's not tied to the previous songs.

                Essentially in gaming you sell the IP to your game so you can actually make it. Where books and music don't have that.

                Movies do to a certain degree.

                Like Saw was made on the cheap by 2 guys they made a 5 minute short for 5000 dollars. That they then used to pitch to studios to get a full length movie. Which resulted in Lionsgate basically funding the full movie and distribution. Contract probably stated that they have exclusive distribution rights for that movie and any others. Hence why they churned 7 of the things out

                  its 4am and that's probably poorly written :D

                  I get the funding thing but that still doesn't make it a Sony IP. So my question remains (although I appreciate the effort in your response), how does it become Sony's property? Did SingleTrac sign it over to Sony?

                  Also, is anyone here willing to say that any Twisted Metal game beyond Twisted Metal 2 was any good? They were basically the Saw sequels...no heart, no soul, no fun and the only thing remaining to get people's attention was the name.

          It's a Sony IP that has been passed around several different developers, internal and external, over the years.

            Consider me a complete idiot on what constitutes an IP but if you create something for someone else. Wouldn't IP laws make that your product that you're lending/leasing/renting/whatever to the other company? As an example, Doubleday published Carrie but it's still Stephen King's IP. Is it different for videogames?

            (Again, not being sarcastic by any stretch. Just curious as to how it works.)

              In the vast, vast majoirty of cases it's different for videogames because it's nearly always the publisher that's paying for development. And as a general rule, whoever pays the bills is the one who owns the product. I'm a software developer myself, but I don't own any of the software I write - it's owned by my employer who are actually paying the cost of development.

              There are some developers who fund their own work and thus retain ownership of their own IP e.g. Epic, which is why they still own Gears of War instead of MS, who just pay for exclusivity, Valve, etc. Then there's all the indie developers, of course.

              In the case of Carrie, Stephen King wrote it himself in his spare hours after work and sent it to the publisher as a more-or-less completed work. But writing can do that because the costs are low... it's basically one person and his/her time. You don't need dozens/hundreds of people

              A better analogy would be the film industry. When they make a film it's no the writer or the director or whoever that owns the copyright on the film, it's the studio (or private funding consirtium or whatever) that put up the money to make it. That's why you see so many sequels and remakes these days - if the filmmakers owned the IP you can be sure they wouldn't be allowing so much of that to go on :P

            Might have to wait a while for my first response. It's randomly awaiting moderation again.

            Bugger waiting..cmon Kotaku, get accounts up and running. Point was, in other mediums the developer owns the IP regardless. How did Sony take the IP rights from SingleTrac?

              It’s not so much that Sony ‘took’ the IP, it’s that Sony agreed to fund development of the game in return for the IP. As one game can cost millions of dollars to produce, finding a publisher to fund your development is mostly a necessity for AAA titles. In this situation, the publisher is taking most of the risk by putting up large sums of money to fund the development, so in return, they are (generally; not always) given ownership of the IP. This also allows their investment to potentially pay dividends in future (in the way of sequels or anything else using that IP). Otherwise, a developer could take the IP to another publisher for a sequel, bringing all the good will and popularity of the title with it, despite the previous publisher’s large investment into the success of the IP.

    Every man and his dog is about to fall in line behind Tim. Jaffe won't be alone.

      It's not so much that Sony 'took' the IP, it's that Sony agreed to fund development of the game in return for the IP. As one game can cost millions of dollars to produce, finding a publisher to fund your development is mostly a necessity for AAA titles. In this situation, the publisher is taking most of the risk by putting up large sums of money to fund the development, so in return, they are (generally; not always) given ownership of the IP. This also allows their investment to potentially pay dividends in future (in the way of sequels or anything else using that IP). Otherwise, a developer could take the IP to another publisher for a sequel, bringing all the good will and popularity of the title with it, despite the previous publisher's large investment into the success of the IP.

    See what you've done Tim!? You've made it financially viable to make consumers pay for your games when you're making them then get them to pay again when you release it. You're exploiting peoples stupidity

    I'm just mad I didn't think of it first...

      Except that any person who donated more that15bucks gets a free copy so he isn't really making you buy it again

      I highly doubt anyone would kick in cash if there wasn't some return on investment. I kicked in enough for the documentary because that seems more interesting as well

        Except that there is no ROI here and people *are* still kicking in cash.

        All you are doing here is paying up front to receive a product (quality unknown) in the future. That isn't getting a return on an investment, there is no profit at the end, you simply get the product you paid for.

        In fact you actually lose money on your invested capital because of the time value of money.

          Agreed, from an investment perspective.. However this is not about investment, it's about fans wanting a developer that they trust and respect to do what a traditional publisher/venture capitalist wouldn't want to fund.

      You're obviously late to today's game train.

      Listen, I've said this before, "Imagine if you could walk into a EBgames/Gamestop and somewhere on Steam to fund projects usually already underway. But you bear witness to the alpha/concept design or an idea. You're given the base choice to pay a default $15 or above to pre-order the game and some other benefits and you know where I'm going with this.
      All of this & you could be intimately tied to the project and it's development/feedback via email or better services."

      This could revolutionise the game industry by making it feasible to make dozens of more games without the insane scrutiny of dinosaurs. Let alone if a developer (eg Blizzard) hits it big, they have unlimited choices and can continue to self-fund afterwards. The only reason publishers continue to live on is that they abuse and asphyxiate them by bleeding them died of resources to become independent, EVER!

    I think this sort of crowd source funding worked so well because hey, it's Tim, and he as an individual has his fans.
    The other thing to consider is that he is (currently) the only high profile developer crowd sourcing funding for a project - imagine if there were several high profile devs doing this at once - would they all be this successful?

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