inXile is best-known these days for Torment: Tides of Numenera and Wasteland 2, but it's also responsible for another franchise: The Bard's Tale. A stalwart from the Interplay era, its modern adaptations are now inXile's domain, with the latest instalment, The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep, due out late September. To promote the game, inXile has come up with what it calls the "Wishlist Initiative".
Taking a note from Kickstarter's funding goals, inXile will sweeten your Barrows Deep purchase based on the number of wishlists it receives on Steam and GOG.
There are three goals in total: 100,000, 300,000 and 500,000. The first is a bit naff: the addition of the torch from Red Hook's Darkest Dungeon.
The other two, however, a much juicier: a price drop to $US39.95 ($53) and $34.95 ($46) respectively.
Brian Fargo, inXile's CEO, believes it's a good way to "spread the word" before release, while also giving fans "something extra":
Our backers helped us get The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep made, and now we’re hoping that all our fans can help us spread the word about it, and in doing so, unlock rewards for themselves and help make the game that much more accessible for the wider gaming audience out there.
Putting a game on your wishlist costs nothing, yet can mean everything to an indie studio like us. With this initiative, we’re hoping to have it mean something extra for our fans, too.”
It's a pretty novel idea to be honest, and I wouldn't be surprised if other developers follow inXile's lead in the future — depending on how successful this attempt is, of course.
Wish Upon a Bard! [Steam]