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It worked. It really worked. The raving mad folks over at Fig said they could turn anyone into an investor, and now that United States government has validated that plan.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved Fig’s “Game Shares” platform for non-accredited investors. In August 2016, developers Double Fine, InXile, and Obsidian (Psychonauts, Wasteland 2, and Fallout: New Vegas, respectively) founded a website that would enable anyone to earn a return on an investment in new game ideas. Unlike Kickstarter, which doesn’t give you a financial stake in the projects you support, backing a game on Fig could literally pay dividends. Fig kicked off that concept with Psychonauts 2 in 2015, and now the SEC has given the full thumbs-up to the “PSY2” share. That means anyone who backed at an investor level starting at $1,000 per share stands to earn back some cash once the game starts generating revenue.
This concept is important because it gives yet another avenue to developers looking for ways to fund their games. While Kickstarter and other non-investment forms of crowdfunding have helped many studios raise money, Fig is using the profit-motive to encourage people to put even more cash toward the games they want to see.
“Enabling fans and communities to directly support and financially benefit from their favorite games is transformative to the publishing of interactive entertainment and beyond,” Fig founder and chief executive Justin Bailey said in a statement. “Fig is committed to evolving video game publishing and crowdfunding in this direction that benefits fans, communities, and developers, and ultimately the making of great games.”
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The SEC approval was something of a formality, but it’s also an important step in proving that Fig isn’t some crazy scheme. It’s also one of the earliest and most notable platforms designed to take advantage of the changes to SEC rules that permit anyone to invest in companies and startups. Previously, you needed $1 million in the bank or an annual income of more than $200,000 to establish yourself as an accredited investor. Title II of the JOBS Act changed that in 2015, and that cleared the way for Fig.
Now, going forward, Fig should have little trouble getting SEC approval for the Game Shares for its other successfully funded projects, and that’s good news for a whole new class of investors.
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