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Double Fine Aiming to Become Completely Independent

August 11, 2012 Written by Zak Islam

Double Fine has said it’s aiming to move away from work-for-hire and instead gain full independence via investors and crowdfunding.

Justin Bailey, the vice president of business development at Double Fine explained to VentureBeat why the firm is looking at other methods of financing in order to fund future projects, as well as maintaining its independence at the same time.

We’re making a switch from console work-for-hire and going to direct to consumer and free-to-play projects. That process has taken place over the last 18 months.

It is complicated to keep straight, but we have crowdfunding, self-publishing, the mobile studio, and some legacy business. We are now majority-funded by crowdfunding or outside investment. By next year, hopefully that transition will be complete. We’ve needed a lot of money up front from publishers in the past, but over 12 years, we’ve been in transition.

The publisher model is changing. And indie gaming is growing up a little bit and maturing as a business process. Our goal is to fund ourselves as an independent game developer. You want a diversified approach. The nicest thing is the indie community is tight, and we are all trying to help each other in every way.

Double Fine founder and CEO Tim Schafer added:

We try to be as creative with our business development as we are with our games. We are always on the lookout for ways to break the traditional mold for game funding. So when we see new opportunities come up – like Kickstarter, angel investment, or other alternative funding models – even though they might seem new and risky at the time, they are also very attractive to us. Because, let’s face it, anything beats the traditional game funding model. It’s like a loan with a really horrible interest rate. No revenue usually until you’ve not just paid back the development cost, but paid it back many times over. Plus, lots of entanglements with intellectual property usually.

Double Fine raised $3.3 million for their forthcoming adventure game via crowdfunding site Kickstarter.