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UKIE Report Aims At Making Crowdfunding Legal in UK

More than just funding a game.

There can’t be many of you that are yet to hear about the phenomenal response to Double Fine’s Kickstarter project. Tim Schafer’s company asked individuals to chip in various small amounts via the Kickstarter website in order to reach a projected development cost so they could make a new point-and-click adventure game. The project hit its target in just over eight hours and broke a million dollars in less than 24 hours. Crowdfunding, it seems, is going to make that project a reality.

It’s still far too early to tell if this is going to be a one-off event, a phenomenon based on a groundswell of support for a well loved developer with a high profile track record. Some are predicting that it is going to change the way games are funded in the future, cutting out some of the power of big publishers and putting it in the hands of individual studios. We’ll see.

One thing is for sure though, in the UK it’s currently illegal to crowdfund projects. That’s something which UKIE, the entertainment industry trade body, aims to change. They have announced today that they will be publishing a report on the 17th of this month which will highlight the changes to legislation that they think are needed to make this kind of funding possible in the UK. It’s early days, of course, but crowdfunding is not a new thing for the entertainment industry and it has been picking up pace exponentially over the past year or so.

Of course, this is a reaction to Double Fine’s amazing succes but I believe that it’s also one of the best things we can hope for. So far the story has been that an already fairly large, well respected, well known developer which could likely receive funding in myriad of ways, has broken crowdfunding records thanks to an established fanbase. But if it raises awareness of the possibilities of crowdfunding, that success could trickle down to smaller developers who have no hope or prospect of even getting a foot in the door with traditional publishing routes.

The Double Fine Adventure could be about much more than just raising money for a point-and-click game. It might be unlikely that this kind of swell of support ever aligns in such an emphatic way again but the awareness raised might just be enough to bring a flood of small, independent developers into the industry and that would be an amazing legacy.

Source: UKIE

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11 Comments
  1. Youles
    Member
    Since: Feb 2011

    Great to hear – I’d give them a few quid, Costume Quest was awesome! If this sets a trend for small developers, its good news!

    Comment posted on 10/02/2012 at 10:46.
  2. The Lone Steven
    Never heard of him.
    Since: May 2010

    If it does become legal, i really hope that new indie devs won’t abuse it by not bothering to try and get a publisher to fund them. As it should really be a last resort when it comes to games. :)

    Comment posted on 10/02/2012 at 10:49.
  3. Smallville2106
    Member
    Since: Feb 2011

    Sounds cool. Any way to get new innovative games and developers up and running gets a thumbs up from me.

    Comment posted on 10/02/2012 at 10:51.
  4. Omac_brother
    Member
    Since: Nov 2011

    I think it would be hard for new/unknown studios with out a big name connected to them to achieve even 1 tenth of Double Fines sucsess this way. It would be great if some indie projects get off the ground this way, but would you be willing to chip in some cash to a studio you have never heard of to develop a game you know next to nothing about if it didnt have a figure head like Schaffer attached? Not likely.

    Comment posted on 10/02/2012 at 10:59.
  5. jimmy-google
    Member
    Since: Feb 2009

    How did they get passed the legal side for my football club which uses the same principle in the UK? Surely there must already be a work around available

    Comment posted on 10/02/2012 at 11:01.
    • Nocure-fd
      Member
      Since: Mar 2010

      Ya, I think I saw a similar deal on some program about women trying to raise funds for breast implants. I guess you work around it by offering something in exchange for the cash. I guess the legal argument is that this skirts very close to the borders of prostitution.

      Comment posted on 10/02/2012 at 11:37.
  6. yogdog
    Member
    Since: Feb 2010

    Hope that it does become legal, I can’t really see any reason why it is illegal in the first place.

    Comment posted on 10/02/2012 at 11:27.
    • TheDeathAvenger
      Member
      Since: Forever

      I think it’s because the idea of crowdfunding (as I understand it) is that you help to fund the project with the expectation that you will profit from the project in the future. In this case if you pay $15 (or more) you are entitled to receive a copy of the finished game. I don’t believe you are guaranteed anything, so it’s possible you (and others) could fund a project, then not receive what you were promised.

      Comment posted on 10/02/2012 at 16:47.
  7. hazelam
    Member
    Since: Feb 2009

    it’s illegal?
    i’m sure i’ve seen films try to get funding in the uk that way.

    anyway, if they’re gonna make it easier to fund games this way it could see games getting made that would never see the light of day from a big publisher, at least not the way the creator intends them to be.
    no publisher interference, so no calls to turn what is designed as a turn based strategy game into an fps.

    i can’t wait to see what Chafer’s game will be like, some of his old point and click games were just awesome.

    Comment posted on 10/02/2012 at 11:55.
  8. gaffers101
    Member
    Since: Oct 2008

    Providing Crowdfunding is monitored correctly I can see this being a great way for smaller companies to get a foot on the ladder.

    Comment posted on 10/02/2012 at 12:05.
  9. Bilbo_bobbins
    Member
    Since: Jun 2009

    I’m against this to be honest. Its a good way for companies to get started, but really, it could end up in tears when it all goes wrong.

    The looks for investment from people, but I don’t like the way this works personally. I wouldn’t touch it.

    Comment posted on 10/02/2012 at 12:43.

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