Tim Schafer Doesn't Think Publishers Are Evil (Except Activision)

Tim Schafer Doesn't Think Publishers Are Evil (Except Activision)

In case you've been living under an extremely heavy rock for the past few days, let's just say that Tim Schafer has essentially created a new business model for triple-A games overnight. His studio Double Fine's Kickstarer campaign, funded by fans who creamed themselves at the thought of a new Schafer-helmed adventure game, met its goal of $400,000 in eight hours, and is currently at $1.7 million. With a month still to go.

Industry Gamers caught up with Schafer to get his personal take on the whole thing. He's thrilled by the "outpouring of love" from fans ("I'm trying to think of something to say that doesn't sound corny," he said), but he wanted to stress that he doesn't consider traditional publishers evil—just devoid of creativity.

"I'm not vilifying or saying publishers are evil, or that they're not doing what they should be doing," he said. "It's just it's inherent in that set up that they risk a lot of their own money and, therefore, they need to invest in mitigating that risk and there's a cost or a burden with that risk mitigation that affects development in a negative way. But I don't think that they're jerks – well some of them are, the ones that sue us [Activision sued in 2009 in an attempt to prevent EA from publishing the studio's Brutal Legend]. But, there are great people at the publishers, they're making a lot of money, they're doing the right thing for themselves.

"But I think for Double Fine, our MO is we like to make up a lot of stuff. We like to make up new worlds and characters and we like to come up with new ideas, and so that goes against that kind of risk mitigation because when you sand off all the sharp edges and you curb your ideas just to play a safe thing and that's not what we want to make."

The Kickstarter backers will have unprecedented early access to and influence over the game as development gets underway. Are you one of those backers? What are you hoping to get from the project? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.

Tags: tim-schafer, double-fine, kickstarter, video-game-publishers, activision
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