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Former Double Fine COO launches new video game funding platform, Fig

serversurfer

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Aug 31, 2013
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https://www.fig.co/

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2015-08-17-double-fine-coo-launches-new-funding-platform
Fig is built from its very foundations to offer maximum value to developers, pledgers and investors, rather than relying on an architecture built to serve cat cafes, smart watches and YouTube channels equally. When Bailey sat down with GamesIndustry.biz last week in San Francisco he proved his point by opening up Kickstarter and navigating his way to the games section. Right away he shows me that video games are actually just a sub-section of the games category, which also includes card games and puzzles. In that sub-section there are currently 202 live games, the majority of which won't come anywhere close to their funding goal.

Bailey and his team don't think that's good enough, and wanted to offer a solution that could combine the benefits of gamer pledges, investor interest and expert curation. There are nice touches like a timeline that show which development stage the game is at, an easy way to pick and choose pledge rewards that's simple for developers and pledgers and, promises Bailey, because the site will be focused on games developers can customise their campaign page more easily.
Could be kinda interesting to see how this goes.

Edit: Here's an interesting twist; not only can you basically pre-order a copy of the game as you do now on Kickstarter, with Fig, you'll actually be able to invest in the game itself, which will give you a cut of the sales, etc.
Right now only accredited investors can use the investment route (gamer pledges will work just like any other crowdfunding platform) but the plan eventually is for anyone to be able to offer anyone the chance to invest in the future. Bailey's vision is for gamers to "have the opportunity to participate in the financial success of the games they help make possible.”
 
Jul 22, 2007
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I didn't find how much of a cut they get from the crowdfunding.

I do find this interesting though:
Fig is backed by Spark Capital and Tim Schafer, Feargus Urquhart and Brian Fargo make up the platform's impressively experienced advisory board. Fig also plans to help support developers through the life cycle of the product, not just until the funding campaign ends
 

R1CHO

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Jan 30, 2011
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Edit: Here's an interesting twist; not only can you basically pre-order a copy of the game as you do now on Kickstarter, with Fig, you'll actually be able to invest in the game itself, which will give you a cut of the sales, etc.

This is what I want, to actually be able to invest with a possible return instead of a preorder.

It has a lot of potential problems, but should be doable, let's see when the pcars people start paying and what happens there.
 

alr1ght

bish gets all the credit :)
Sep 25, 2005
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Sounds kind of cool. No longer a donation, but an investment.
 

Croatoan

They/Them A-10 Warthog
Jun 24, 2014
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What a terrible name. Should have given it something that at least represents what it does.


Naming a crowed funding site "Fig" is like naming a fruit filled baked good enthusiast website "Newton".
 

RPGam3r

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May 12, 2014
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It would be cool if they offered staged goals, where developers can do iterations of funding based on progress and direction of past iterations.
 

James Scott

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May 24, 2014
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Interesting idea, would incentivize more people to back and back more.
Could cause problems though, like conflict of interest anf I imagine you'd need a lot more to make it worth it
 

Machina

Banned
Jun 11, 2015
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Couldn't they have come up with something clever that wouldn't get them sued? Like Coin Block?
 

RPGam3r

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May 12, 2014
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What a terrible name. Should have given it something that at least represents what it does.


Naming a crowed funding site "Fig" is like naming a fruit filled baked good enthusiast website "Newton".

I just thought it stood for Fund Independent Games.
 
Nov 16, 2007
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This actually seems like a potentially very cool thing, that could open up a new avenue for crowdfunding and allow for better interaction and involvement.

I'll be interested to see if they can actually deliver on this.
 

Anno

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Jun 30, 2007
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Seems potentially interesting, especially if it can be a platform for smaller developers to get support/advice/whatever from the big name industry veterans running the thing. I'm sure that's valuable knowledge that's hard to obtain otherwise.
 

BreezyLimbo

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Jul 11, 2014
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Sounds kind of cool. No longer a donation, but an investment.

How many devs would be ok with splitting their revenue though? And how much would you have to 'invest' before you get put in investor status? And is there a limit to how many people can invest(As to not spread the profits too thin).

These are the questions I have.
 

specdot

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Nov 5, 2014
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Could be cool but this will live or die based upon if the service can attract some big name projects.
My thoughts exactly. But like everything in this industry, they just need a few sites and podcasts to talk about it and they'll be good to go. And of course the NeoGaf hype machine. =p
 

lonely

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May 10, 2013
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Didn't Slightly Mad get in trouble for doing something like this when they were funding Project Cars?
 

inm8num2

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Apr 3, 2012
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I like this idea - the idea of investment might be more attractive to people and help more devs get enough funding on their projects. As always there will be risk and not all games will succeed, but as a platform Fig could be really cool.
 

KPJZKC

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Dec 30, 2009
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What a terrible name. Should have given it something that at least represents what it does.


Naming a crowed funding site "Fig" is like naming a fruit filled baked good enthusiast website "Newton".

So confused, is this a reference to fig rolls or something else?

Would anybody even eat figs (except filthy vegans) if it weren't for these babies? Fig market crushed.

 

Santar

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Aug 19, 2010
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The first thought that popped into my head when I read the investment part was "boy this is going to lead to a lot of whining"
There's a lot of stupid people out there and now since they're investing they are going to scream even higher than before, and they have more of a pull too because after all the invested in the game.
I worry for the poor devs who's gonna have to deal with those sort of people.
It's like changing out stupid rich investors for super whiny less rich stupid investors.
 

xptoxyz

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Aug 13, 2010
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No link on the OP: https://www.fig.co

Like the article says, first project is up there.

edit: some people some to be misunderstanding the article. It's not investment at all tiers. In fact right now it seems it's over 1000 USD that counts as an investment, plus other requirements. Which makes sense else they would probably end up having trouble just as SMS did with pCars.
 

sflufan

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May 5, 2007
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Didn't Slightly Mad get in trouble for doing something like this when they were funding Project Cars?

I wouldn't say they got into "trouble" per se, but they had to explain the situation to the UK's Financial Services as they were operating as a de-facto investment vehicle.

I would assume that Fig would have to register with the SEC here in the US if they open it up to individual investors.
 

Sou Da

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Jul 26, 2014
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So confused, is this a reference to fig rolls or something else?

Would anybody even eat figs (except filthy vegans) if it weren't for these babies? Fig market crushed.

Bailey tells Polygon that Fig's name was inspired by Hotel Figueroa, whose Moroccan-themed bar and pool area has become the social hub for the games industry at E3. He hopes the funding platform he's helped to build will become just as vital to bringing the gaming community together.

http://www.polygon.com/2015/8/18/91...-equity-investment-games-outer-wilds-masi-oka
 

Koozek

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May 19, 2013
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Bad name and also the worst name for Germany :D Will sound like "Fick" 98% of times people say it.
 

Sou Da

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Jul 26, 2014
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This has got me wondering, will any future projects from the CEOs on the board have to show up on here?

Also how will the verb work, "We're going to fig Project Eternity 2!"
 
Dec 4, 2010
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Tim Schafer is tired of Kickstarter taking 10% of his development budgets.

More like he is tired of spending all the cash from the 30 days of investment he got on kickstarter. Now he can have cash flowing in all the time so he can run over budget and not hurt his company so much.
 

_machine

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Oct 12, 2011
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Thread title should probably be corrected that Justin is former Double Fine; he no longer works for Double Fine and works full-time for Fig as the CEO. The board has advisory members and investors like Tim Schaefer, but the actual company isn't tied to Double Fine or Obsidian.

It's an interesting idea for sure, and having actual investments and stakeholders might be a good thing for the long run and gather more small scale angels for the industry. It does have a ton of legal pitfalls ahead of it (like Project Cars was created with a similar idea, but they are unable to continue the investment portion due to legal issues associated with the concept).
 

Timeaisis

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May 27, 2011
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Interesting. So this is super curated. You have to submit your pitch to them and they'll put it up. Could be interesting. I'd imagine they'd do no more than 2-3 projects at a time, which increases exposure. Getting on there will be ultra competitive, though.