Kickstarter, Indiegogo…both of these are crowd funding websites that have been utilized by the video games development community to help push out their titles. I always thought that while the Kickstarter model of awarding backers with stuff (and there are tiers for that based on how much you decide to put in) is pretty cool, I don't really see anyone getting a stake in the up and coming game that they are backing.
Enter Gambitious, the first professional crowd funding platform especially dedicated to the video games industry. Swiss indie devs Urban Games actually put up their game Train Fever (Mac, PC & Linux), a modern day Transport Tycoon, for funding on Gambitious and reached their target goal of € 250,000 with 11 days to spare earning the distinction of being the first equity-funded game of this financial magnitude.
Yup, you read that right. Over 650 investors put in money on this project and with Gambitious, investors get their advances repaid, and receive a return just like a publisher or angel or venture capitalist would receive. Train Fever expects 822,500 euros in revenues, with Gambitious investors receiving half of that. That equates to a return on investment of 165%!
“After our campaign, we not only secured funding but also gathered a lot of fantastic feedback, suggestions and challenging questions. In addition, we successfully started to establish a fan community around the world. ” said Basil Weber, CEO and founder of Urban Games.
“We always had great belief in Urban Games and Train Fever, and they have pulled off a great campaign. We really admire the way they communicate their vision and plans with their investors and fan base.” said Paul Hanraets, CEO and co-founder of Gambitious. “This proves that a close connection between developers, investors and gaming communities can result in more success stories for indie teams that might not have had the clout or network to succeed on the donations model alone.”
In Train Fever, the players have to establish a transport company and constructs bus, tram and railroad lines. The challenge is to build an efficient and profitable transport system, with railroads playing a central role. Train Fever is a modern-day Transport Tycoon game with procedural content and a sophisticated city simulation. Train Fever runs on an engine specifically developed for this game. A key point is the fact that there is no grid that game objects have to be aligned to. The game will be published for the platforms PC, Mac and Linux.