Modern games are extremely expensive to make. High-profile, AAA titles have budgets in the tens of millions, and even the smaller, independent titles can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to make. Couple this with development times that frequently reach three or four years and you have publishers who are very shy about investing in new projects, particularly for unproven IPs. Valve co-founder Gabe Newell recently spoke about a new way of funding such games: "There's a huge amount of risk associated with those dollars and decisions have to be incredibly conservative. What I think would be much better would be if the community could finance the games. In other words, 'Hey, I really like this idea you have. I'll be an early investor in that and, as a result, at a later point I may make a return on that product, but I'll also get a copy of that game.'" Such a system would certainly relieve some of the pressure to stick with tried-and-true concepts (and possibly get management to grant a little more leeway with deadlines and resources), and it would make the video game industry more of a meritocracy than it already is.
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