Posted By Lord_Krieg at
So my question is:
Seeing that the small amount of money might not be enough to achieve their large roadmap, is SBS thinking about acquiring funding via VCs or using a publisher to release the game? I know that they looked into the getting published by a larger company a long time ago, but I was wandering if this was back on the table since money might become short eventually? My question does not aim at taking a hit to SBS, but more at understanding their plan in terms of finances, before I put my money back into the game.
Background: I, like you, am a backer and not an employee of SBS, and I also work in the software industry and am well aware of the costs of large scale software development.
SBS has never claimed that the amount of capital raised so far is sufficient to fund the full development effort. What they have said is that it is enough to comfortably fund their current work with a reasonable buffer into the future. Each day/week/month/year that they remain independent, makes the likelihood of the game being built along the lines of their original vision higher, and so they would like to remain independent for long as possible. Additionally it puts them in a better position to approach investors or publishers, if and when they are ready.
The rate of crowd-funding investment by the player base has continued to be strong. For reference, they passed the $5M mark in late November, so they have raised another $660K in the last 4 months. That translates into almost $2M a year of additional funding. Obviously there is no guarantee that this revenue rate will continue indefinitely, but as long as they continue to make progress and expand the number of interested potential players, there is a reasonable chance that crowd funding will continue to help lengthen their runway.
SBS shows little sign at the moment of financial hardship, in particular, they have been talking about how they are recruiting new staff from the various layoffs in the gaming industry in Seattle.
It seems (again from the outside but as someone who has sought VC funding for software companies) highly probable that SBS would be able to attract funding at this point if they desired to make the tradeoff in control. If they required or desired the additional funding, I would be pretty shocked if they didn't reach out to get that funding. If the alternative is stopping on the project that they have invested the last N years of their lives in, or giving up some control, I am pretty sure which one would be picked.
Personally I take it as a really good sign that they have lasted this long as an independent game studio without needing to call upon an outside source and taking on all of the other things that come with that. I hope they continue in this manner until they are much closer to Release Day.
Thus I have chosen to put my money in now, in hopes of making that a reality, but I think everyone understands that funding this game is a matter of personal choice, subject to your level of disposable income, your degree of risk aversion, and your level of patience.