Here’s an amazing video about why the patent system is so badly broken, how it’s strangling the public domain, and radically stifling progress. Well worth watching – trust me, you need to see this.
First – So exciting! Doublefine (Tim Schafer – the name behind a slew of great games including Monkey Island, Full Throttle, Psychonauts, Brutal Legend) has started a Kickstart fundraiser for a new game. This is a great idea – bypassing publishers all together and putting the funding for the game in the hands of the audience. I LOVE this idea – I just wish I had 10k to give in order to qualify for the lunch with Tim!
Next, this list underlines why a game developer would want to go the above route. There are a number of incredible games on that list, many of which I have purchased from Steam or GOG. Sadly, and unbeknownst to me at the time, none of the proceeds of my purchase actually help the developer in the slightest. Many of them are out of business. This is a huge problem in the gaming industry. Publishers like EA (who haven’t actually developed a good game since the 90s!) pay a flat rate to the developers for the rights, and then pass nothing further on if the game actually does well. And the big-name publishers wonder why people no longer buy their formulaic overpriced and overproduced piles of crap. I basically read heading of that list as “You now have the right to pirate any of the following games.” Which is not to say that I condone piracy – I do everything I can to support game devs, but that doesn’t include giving any of my limited budget to a greedy publisher just to fill their coffers while the folks that actually DID THE WORK have to find new jobs since their studio was closed down. Grrrrr! Ars Technica has a great article on the list that I highly suggest you read.