Launched on Tuesday morning, Fig is a new crowdfunding site founded by former Double Fine Chief Operating Officer Justin Bailey. The site is specifically for video games, aiming to give developers the freedom to make better games and give their players a chance to invest in projects they truly believe in, rather than just donate.
It seems like there are a lot of websites already, like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, where we can stand in a virtual circle around a product and sprinkle nourishing money over it until it grows, but Fig is a little bit different.
On Fig, only one game is crowdfunded at a time, curated by the company’s board of experts. This method should ensure quality and greatly increase the chance for project success; it allows funding pages to be customised to best showcase the project and gives the site the ability to prioritise participating developers, and help them towards a final product.
Fig is also offering opportunities for investment alongside the traditional backer rewards scheme. For now, purchasing shares and sharing in profits is limited to ‘accredited investors’, which is understandable considering the site is still in its early stages. However, there are plans to open equity investment up to everyone.
The board of experts selecting the games to be funded are Tim Schafer, Brian Fargo, and Feargus Urquhart. All three of whom have been very successful on Kickstarter for themselves and their studios Double Fine, inXile, and Obisdian.
Their first offering is Outer Wilds, a space exploration game that wants you to uncover the secrets of our ever-changing solar system. The game has a total goal of $125,000, and the traditional backer tiers – ranging from $20 to $10,000 – all come with their own reward packages, which greatly increase in quality depending on how much you want to donate, as you’d expect. The team must raise their total in 31 days or their project gets nothing – it’s a lot of pressure. But it’s arguably slightly less pressure than Kickstarter, considering developers are able to court investor interest and thus far, $34,000 of the $60,240 they’ve raised has come from investors.
Opening up investment opportunities to everyone seems like a wonderful idea and a great way for fans to reap the rewards for their contribution to bringing a game to life. However, I do think that care should be taken to make absolutely certain that inexperienced non-accredited investors are well-informed by Fig as to why their investment is a greater risk than a simple donation and to not let them be swept up in their enthusiasm for the project.
If you’re interested in helping Outer Wilds reach its goal, or even to submit your own pitch, head to Fig’s website. The Outer Wilds page is certainly a lot more personalised and attractive than anything you’d see on Kickstarter, so maybe they’re onto something.
Main Image: Fig © Mobius Digital