This article is amazing, not because of what it means in terms of Chuck Wendig’s life and work – even though what it means for him is a great thing – but in terms of what it means for all creative people. Another very interesting and thrilling example of the same thing is the business of Tim Schafer and Doublefine raising over two million dollars on kickstarter to develop a game.
I have some reservations about the process, as a consumer, the number one being: as consumers, are we now expected to first fund development, then also provide profit for the developers by buying the product that we already paid for? That seems wonky to me. But maybe if this mode of development becomes the norm, products will be distributed more or less for free. That would be a very interesting business model. Problematic in terms of digital merchandise, because
asshole savvy consumers will just wait around for other people to fund the development, then pick up a pirated copy and claim it’s legitimate because it didn’t have an associated retail cost anyways. Or something like that. Haven’t given it that much thought, really.
But as someone who hopes to one day be a creator of products, this has a lot of appeal. It would be nice to not be chained to a producer or a publisher, to be able to make what we want on our own terms. It almost seems like a patronage system of some kind. Make a few good products, things that people would be willing to pay for, build up public interest, and then the public (instead of a single wealthy family) will fund your enterprise as long as you keep producing things they like. It cuts out the middle man altogether, which is great. It could, theoretically, lower the costs for everyone involved. The public gives me money, I use it to create a product, then I ship it out (which costs nothing if it’s digital). No publisher, no retailer, no shared profits. I keep every cent I earn, and the consumer only has to pay me what I need to create the product.
I think things are going to get very interesting over the next several years.
I am working on another project, one that has given me some trouble. It’s longer than the last one, and more complex, and I have not had much time to work on it lately. I have all of today, so I did a lot of work this morning, and I hope to finish it up and post it tonight. We’ll see how the editing process goes. I also don’t have a good title for it, so Jackie better be ready to come up with one. She is my official title-maker now, at least for as long as she does a good job.
Some day, when I am actually concerned about getting more readers to this blog, I need to work on limiting what I write about. I don’t know if anyone cares about my personal musings, but I suspect not.