Obsidian reportedly approached by publishers looking to exploit Kickstarter

T.J. Hafer

The instant success of Obsidian's Project Eternity Kickstarter , which reached its $1.1 million goal in under two days, has been getting a lot of attention in the games industry. According to a comment posted on Kickstarter by Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart, however, the idea has received unwanted attention, too: publishers trying to work their way into the fan-developer relationship before it started.

"We were actually contacted by some publishers over the last few months that wanted to use us to do a Kickstarter," said Urquhart in a comment, as reported by Destructoid . "I said to them 'So, you want us to do a Kickstarter for [you], using our name, we then get the Kickstarter money to make the game, you then publish the game, but we then don't get to keep the brand we make and we only get a portion of the profits.' They said, 'Yes'."

It seems Obsidian has no intention of giving up intellectual property rights to a traditional publisher (none of which were named specifically), when Kickstarter is already letting devs like them fund and distribute their own games. It also raises the question of why a publisher that already has the resources to fund a game would look to the Kickstarter platform instead, when it's specifically geared toward projects that wouldn't happen otherwise. It's not immediately clear whether Kickstarter itself would prohibit such practices, as evidenced by their terms of use:

Q: I'd like to use Kickstarter to get my project out there, but I don't really need money. Is that okay?

A: Absolutely. Kickstarter is about more than just money. A Kickstarter project is a great way to connect with your audience and spread the word about your work.

Let us know in the comments whether or not you think such a developer/publisher relationship would ever work on Kickstarter, and more importantly, whether it should be permitted.

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