15 February 2012
Something happened to me the other day that I…I feel I have to share or else it might haunt me the rest of my life. I was just perusing the ol’ internet, like you do, checking out some periodicals and sharing recipes with my gal pals when someone directed me to this one website and I… I was crowd-sourced. I know, I know, it was a harrowing experience but I have to work through it.
You see, it all began years ago, back when I lived in Nigeria. On a brief visit to the States, my parents decided that even though I couldn’t have an NES, I could have a Nintendo game. I remember walking up and down the aisles at Toys R Us without a clue in my head what would be a good game and what I settled on was Ninja Gaiden 2 and Maniac Mansion. Zoom a few years later when my folks moved back to the States permanently and we got our first Apple product, the long-defunct MacTV. One of the first CD-roms we got for it (and had to place in a plastic caddy before inserting it into the machine, Holla 1993!) was a 4 pack of Lucasarts games, the most memorable and important one being The Secret of Monkey Island. Finally, fast forward twenty years and many games later and we find creator Tim Schafer in a bind. Everyone has been clamouring for a new adventure game like the ones of yore but no studio will fund/distribute/care because it’s an adventure game and what is this, 1997? Clever man that he is, Tim turned to the power of Kickstarter to get the $400k he wants to make the game and document it in a hilarious behind-the-scenes scheme he’s devised. Within 8 hours, they had the $400k pledged and only a few hours later, I got to sit and watch as it clocked over past the million dollar marker. As I type, they’re at 1.5, no 1.6, nope sorry, 1.7 million and counting.
What does this say about the future prospects of gaming? Is this just a fluke? Are people like me essentially paying these fellas a tip for how much we loved Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fandango and Full Throttle? A friend pointed out that this was the ultimate DRM in that people have paid for the product before it even exists. Even if this is simply one genius cashing in on nostalgia, I’m fascinated to see not only what happens with this game but future games and if this model is sustainable, because the possibilities are breath-taking.
Use Leeman with Excitement and let’s hope the little pixelated man on our screen doesn’t shrug his shoulders and say, “I can’t use these things together”.