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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Crowdsourcing

What advantages or disadvantages are there for a small developer to crowdsource a game versus approaching an established backer?

As a newcomer to the industry and an aspiring entrepreneur, I wonder what impact crowdsourcing can have on a game’s development? Certainly, there have been successful crowd-funded titles ranging from small indie projects to, well, Star Citizen.  From my point of view, I see crowd sourcing as highly advantageous for “garage” – based devs who might not be able to take their project to a proper publisher or financier (or maybe they wouldn’t even want to?). This method of funding allows a developer to reach a target audience before the bulk of a game has been built and might be able to stir up interest while generating income. Conversely, if a game doesn’t generate interest at all it may have been better to give a convincing presentation to a potential backer and take a more direct route to funding. Maybe that’s not even the game’s fault – perhaps the funding campaign just isn’t presented well to consumers.

Selling points for my concept game include the usual buzzwords: featuring an array of unique weapons, challenging combat and an engaging narrative! These are great for marketing but it’s also not really fresh or exciting. To better sell the game a more in-depth approach might be needed, and this is where I think pitching a game to a crowdsourcing solution is more effective (in this case). This way we can get direct feedback from players who have already expressed an interest in the game and those selling point buzzwords can be fleshed out in a way that players can go back and reference. We’re no longer tied to a one-hour presentation to showcase the game; instead there’s time to generate interest and a place for more potential backers to come see what the game is all about.

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