We’ve reported on a few different Fig campaigns lately, because it has become the go-to source for crowdfunding large-scale video games while offering higher-end backers an opportunity to make a profit in the ownership of the system.
Previously, we’ve seen the opportunity for a cult video game to get a long-awaited sequel, and we’ve seen Kevin Smith seek funding a beat-’em-up based two stoner characters, but now here’s some breaking news that really has the internet up in arms.
Harmonix, the studio behind the popular Rock Band video game franchise, is seeking $1.5 million in crowdfunding to port their game from consoles to PC. It seems like a pretty big ask for a franchise that has released dozens of titles over the years. Why would the porting of a game you’ve already finished be such an endeavor, and why would anyone else need to pitch in. Any DLC purchased on either of the console versions won’t carry over to PC, and Rock Band 4 on consoles is still currently something of an unfinished product. So what is happening here?
Harmonix will support most existing wired USB and wireless Rock Band instruments including ION drums. If a new driver needs to be written, the PC platform gives Harmonix the flexibility to simply do that. It also brings back the Rock Band Network, which could allow for Steam Workshop functionality and user-created tracks.
Here’s the explanation for why Harmonix would turn to crowdfunding:
“As an indie studio, we at Harmonix must seek funding for projects. Typically this involves traditional publishers and all of the positives and negatives that entails. However with crowdfunding now a popular and influential alternative to publisher deals, we’ve chosen Fig to crowdfund the development of Rock Band 4 on PC.”
Sure, Harmonix is an indie studio now and no longer has the financial backing of its former owner Viacom. This isn’t nearly as bad as a $1.5 million dollar ask, but the kind of consumers who shelled out $250 in the late 2000s for full game systems and toy drum sets, this crowdfunding for a port for a somewhat roughly released game means a lot of raised eyebrows. This could become something great, but yet again, it’s pretty hard to take The Little Guy’s side when that guy is one of the biggest and best known franchises in all of the industry.