Wasteland 2 Kickstarter

The Wasteland 2 Kickstarter has already more than exceeded its goal of $900,000. With 25 days still to go, it’s approaching $1.5 million in pledges, a figure which will ensure the game lands on Mac and Linux in addition to PC. It’s nice to see a game like Wasteland that is nearly 25 years old get the opportunity for a sequel thanks to a new method of funding, but this particular Kickstarter may result in more than just a (very) long-awaited sequel being made.

The latest update on the Kickstarter, written by inXile boss Brian Fargo, recounts a story of how Fargo was kind to a young neighbor of his 20 years ago. He used this as the launching point to talk about a Kickstarter initiative he’d like to help start which he is calling Kick It Forward.

“And speaking of goodwill it occurs to me that we can harness the power of Kickstarter in a more meaningful way,” Fargo wrote. “Fan funding is bigger than me or Wasteland 2 as I have remarked before. The development community has come together to support us in ways that I didn’t think possible and our power as developers will ultimately come from us sticking together.”

Noting that “both gamers and developers have so much more strength than they realize,” he said he will be pledging money made by his Kickstarter-funded game to future Kickstarters. This won’t be money that fans have donated — there’s no need to worry about seeing your money go to a project other than Wasteland 2 if you pledge. Instead 5 percent of profits generated by Wasteland 2, tentatively set for release in late 2013, will be sent to other Kickstarter developers.

Kickstarter

The details of how other projects would be selected or what would happen if they fail to reach their targets were not shared. There is plenty of time for those details to be worked out, though, and in the meantime Fargo said he would have a badge created which other Kickstarter projects can make use of to indicate they will also pledge a portion of their future profits to other Kickstarters.

“Imagine the potential if another Minecraft comes along via Kickstarter and produces millions of dollars of investment into other developers,” Fargo said. “This economic payback will continue to grow the movement way beyond the current system. I hope others will join me with this idea and make this a true shakeup.”

It’s hard not to like this idea — any project which succeeds on Kickstarter is doing so because of the fans’ support; there would be no profit to speak of in the first place if not for the generosity of the Kickstarter community. Generally speaking, the games being pitched on the site are a sort that publishers have no interest in (at least not without heavily modifying things so they are no longer true to the creators’ vision), so Kickstarter-funded game developers will have that in common and would hopefully want to support others in that position.

While we may not have seen a Kickstarter for a new Shenmue pop up, there are a number of projects that still appear to be worthy of funding. If other developers were to begin kicking in to ensure these games are made, it would only improve the chances of gamers seeing more innovative titles that publishers are unwilling to take a risk on.

By Chris Pereira