In a gesture of goodwill (and good publicity), video game publisher Electronic Arts today announced it is offering 90 days of free digital distribution on its Origin service to developers successfully crowd-funding their projects on Kickstarter.
Crowdfunding has become an increasingly popular option for independent game developers who would otherwise be unable to finance the projects they are passionate about. Senior Vice President of Origin at EA David DeMartini says it’s incredibly healthy for the gaming industry. “The public support for crowdfunding creative game ideas coming from small developers today is nothing short of phenomenal,” he says.
By taking advantage of EA’s generosity, crowd-funded games stand to reach Origin’s growing audience of more than 12 million users worldwide. However, EA says the offer applies only to fully-funded, complete, and ready-to-publish titles, and developers will still have to provide ongoing support.
Some high-profile indie developers seem already on board. inXile Entertainment CEO Brian Fargo, who recently raised nearly $3 million on Kickstarter to create a sequel to his classic post-apocalyptic survival game Wasteland, calls EA’s offer a “major economic bonus for small developers.”
“Crowd-funded projects are like the ‘people’s choice awards’ — a way for gaming fans to express what they want to buy and play,” adds Pinkerton Road’s Jane Jensen, who also recently met her Kickstarter goal for a new adventure title called Moebius. “It’s great to see a big publisher like EA acknowledging that and opening up distribution opportunities for these games.”