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May 3rd, 2014, 18:44
Polygon interviewed Brian Fargo where he talks about his long gaming career, and also answers a few questions about his current project Wasteland 2.

Fargo is a known critic of game publishing mores. During his Kickstarter video pitch for InXile's new game Wasteland 2, he portrayed them as children. He mocked middle-level execs who sign off on new projects and who manage developers. He said many of them do not understand video games.

The worst, he recalls, was being forced to release a game he did not consider to be up to scratch. "What do I do when I'm told to just wrap it up and we're not going to have any time for iteration?" he asks. "Of course my scores are going to suffer. But I don't have control over that. Developers take the rap for having bugs in their products. It's not their QA department. The publisher runs QA. Yet the developer is taking a hit for shipping buggy products. Forever."

These days, the number of independent developers hired to work on AAA games is dwindling. Developers like InXile are seeking to take control over their own destinies and creativity via Kickstarter projects. Or they are being bought up by publishers who can wield more control over the companies they actually own.

"I know of some publishers that will purposely try to run developers into the ground so they can buy them on the cheap," he says. "That's also a strategy. Think about that."

Damaged by years of doing business with publishers, Fargo has found a way to make games the way he wants to make them, without the approval or money of large marketing-and-distribution entities.

Two years ago, Fargo raised $3 million on Kickstarter for Wasteland 2, a sequel to an RPG he made back in the 1980s. But a good fund-raising campaign is only part of his journey back from the margins.
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May 3rd, 2014, 18:44
And now he charges $60 for an unfinished early access game blaming the pricing on backers who already paid for the game development. Sounds kind of like corporate rhetoric to me - a way to justify fleecing gamers for cash. Outside of Steam's cut his company is getting some nice profits every time one of those boxes sells since the community already funded development. I don't really see his behavior as being anything commendable or his talking trash about publisher practices as anything by hypocrisy, because, yes, he does have full control - and his company could be a little less corporate bloodthirsty with its pricing.
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May 3rd, 2014, 19:15
I'm not a fan of the Early Access Program, let alone Wasteland II's pricing on it, but making any connection with "corporate bloodthirstiness" is a joke, right? The game will be priced differently come launch day - if you want to be an impatient twit and succumb to that impatience, don't place the blame squarely on the studio.

As for the actual article, it's nothing we really haven't heard before - Fargo nostalgically looking back on his catalog and being thankful for the opportunities presented by Kickstarter.
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May 4th, 2014, 03:25
I always love how people complain about products that no one is forcing them to buy. Suddenly, any and all products sold anywhere have to pass their insane, little "test" to see if it can even be allowed to market. I payed well over 60 bucks during the Kickstarter because there is no other way to get games like this. I believe in these people, and I want to see more games like this.

People that spend hours upon hours complaining have much bigger issues that they are masking via complaints about games. They have an emptiness that nothing can fill but spreading their venom to others, and even then, it's a short reprieve from the madness in their head.
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May 4th, 2014, 04:05
The price is high because InXile didn't want to ostracize their backers who paid big bucks, like Pegasus above, to get into beta. A very simple and, imho, laudable approach. They could've instead made early access cheap, and in doing so, make a lot of money. Instead they choose to treat the people who are actually responsible for the game to exist with respect.
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May 4th, 2014, 09:27
There is no logic in claiming the pricing of WL2 is bloodthirsty. If it we're priced at say 30$ I'd guess that ALOT of more people would have bought into early access. Which would have made Inxile more money, since there are probably quite a few who are put of by the pricetag and won't buy it until it's on sale. The full price of games has a very short lifespan today, so the best business approach would be to hit the swet spot with your early access price that as many as possible will buy the game for as much as possible. That price is not 60$ for Wasteland 2, but like Cpmartins said that's because they respect their backers. Good move. And like Drithius said, it's not the release price, that will be lower.
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