The past two years have seen the emergence of quite a few quickly-growing trends in the gaming industry, but without a doubt one of the most talked-about has been the influence of Kickstarter. While there have been numerous success stories within the medium, there’s no arguing that Double Fine’s Broken Age is the game that kickstarted (pardon the pun) the crowdfunding revolution, bringing in a staggering $3.3 million in the spring of 2012.
Now, after almost two years of anticipation, players are on the cusp of finally getting their hands on Tim Schafer’s latest creation. As of January 14th, the first part of Broken Age will be available to anyone who backed the Kickstarter campaign.
Creator Tim Schafer had this to say about the game’s upcoming launch in a recent tweet:
Haven't shipped a game of my own in 4.5 years, an adventure game in 16, a point-n-click in almost 20. Next Tuesday is going to be exciting!— Tim Schafer (@TimOfLegend) January 10, 2014
Split into two parts, players can no doubt expect Double Fine’s signature sense of style to shine through if the game’s first trailer is any indication. Having made a substantial name for himself with genre classics like The Secret Of Monkey Island and Day Of The Tentacle, there are high expectations riding on Broken Age’s launch as gamers wait to see the fruits of Schafer’s point-and-click labor. What may be most exciting about this release though, is the further impact it could have on the role of crowdfunding within the gaming industry.
As the game that drew the interests of gamers everywhere to the prospects of Kickstarter as a method of funding game development, its success or failure could help dictate the next turn that crowdfunding takes. The incredible amount of blind trust that goes into backing an incomplete or nonexistent product goes without saying, but there is also a large degree of emotional investment that accompanies such actions. If someone is an avid-enough follower to contribute money to a cause without any guarantee of a quality return, it’s not surprising that their expectations may exceed that of a regular consumer. With such expectations, even if Broken Age turns out to be a great game, for some players it might still fail to live up to the game they saw through rose-tinted glasses. If this is the case though, how could that affect any future contracts of trust for these gamers?
It will be interesting to see how crowdfunding impacts future games as more early-backed titles like Broken Age begin to trickle down the pipeline. If this trust is broken too many times, the industry could see crowdfunding disappear just as quickly as it made its impressive entrance. Speculation aside though, Broken Age is shaping up to be quite an impressive title in Double Fine’s repertoire with talent such as Wil Wheaton and Jack Black contributing to the project. With just under a week before its release, gamers have a lot to be excited about from Double Fine on the horizon.
The first part of Broken Age will be launching DRM-free on Mac, iOS, PC, Android, Linux & Steam platforms on January 14th, 2014 for those who backed it on Kickstarter. A wide release date has yet to be announced.