Path of Exile: Crowdfunding that isn’t following the Kickstarter crowd

path_of_exile_wallpaper5_1920x1080Brian Fargo. Tim Schafer. Chris Roberts. Chris Taylor. These designers are responsible for a number of noteworthy video games. And all four also have another thing in common — they’ve gone to Kickstarter to fund their latest projects.

Path of Exile recently went into open beta — effectively “releasing” to the market. This online action-role-playing game (a genre that emphasizes combat, leveling up your characters and selecting skills, and acquiring treasure) from startup Grinding Gear Games began development six years ago, financed by the founders and later “wealthy friends,” said general manager Chris Wilson. As its development kicked into a higher gear, the founders paid themselves just enough to get by, leaving as many funds as possible for the rest of the development team — including Wilson and the others, this is 20 people, plus another couple of contractors — and infrastructure for this online game.

“We view ourselves as a startup,” Wilson said. “The founders have made no money yet. We are paying ourselves living costs, but others are making more than the founders. Our priority is making delivering a quality game and not monetizing it.”
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