Fig, the investment-driven crowdfunding platform we’ve talked about plenty in the past, is known to be supported by a pretty hefty amount of big industry names. Although it remains to be seen whether it’ll be successful in terms of its games’ post-launch realization, it looks like Cliff Bleszinski has recently joined the ranks of Tim Schafer and Brian Fargo by investing an undisclosed sum to Consortium: The Tower – a project which was successfully funded for $348,538 a bit more than a week ago.
While this doesn’t put the developer on the company’s advisory board (as confirmed by Gamasutra), it does show his optimism when it comes to Fig’s way of handling crowdfunding and investment. For Bleszinski, Fig is simply an opportunity for players (and developers) to support something they believe in, the difference being that in return backers get “more than like a mug”. He shared more of his positive opinions on equity crowdfunding with Forbes, mentioning that Fig’s investment model might be most successful for mid-tier, digital games where pledges of $20 at minimum would be the most widely seen ones.
Of course, there might be other industry vets who have invested in the platform privately. The fact that we’re seeing Bleszinsky’s name in the spotlight also isn’t really a surprise, as the designer is well-known for being outspoken when it comes to his views on the industry (however controversial they might have been in the past). While Bleszinsky’s contribution could be seen purely as a marketing ploy meant to elevate Fig as a more reputable crowdfunding opportunity, it’s also nice to realize the platform’s potential as an enabler for developers to support each other via crowdfunding. In fact, it would certainly be nice to see Fig showing the names of the top investors for each project, similar to Humble Bundle’s neat graphs containing top contributors and other fancy numbers.
Whatever the case though, in reality we’ve yet to see how well Fig works. As stupidly optimistic as I might be, there aren’t many things that could prove Fig’s viability. That includes big names’ participation, at least until we see a game which emerges successfully out of the platform’s clutches. So far, there have only been four projects funded through the platform – those including Psychonauts 2, Outer Wilds, Jay and Silent Bob: Chronic Blunt Punch and Consortium: The Tower, with the failed ones being Rock Band 4 for PC and Anchors in the Drift. However, it’s also worth noting that most of those are relying on existing franchises, or industry veterans involved in their development.
With that being said, Bleszinski almost hit the nail on the head when speaking to Forbes about Fig’s reliance on gamers and their passion. Specifically, he said that “if you do a good job with them, they’ll carry you through the street on a gilded chair. And if you don’t, they’ll tar and feather you”. As such, it would be interesting to see the general reception for games which end up being badly received post-launch, especially from the perspective of backers who’ve invested in Fig and its projects.