I’m always on the lookout for new and emerging models, and I’ve found a good one. This example isn’t in the publishing world but there are many similarities between books and video games.
With video games you may have a group of developers who create a game but they are usually dependent on a larger company to buy the rights, produce the game, and distribute it. Most of the proceeds of the game goes to these companies rather than the actual developers.
Independent game designers sometimes try a direct market approach but it can be difficult to really get a wide distribution.
So this new model involves five developers banding together and offering their games for ‘whatever you’re willing to pay’. Want to pay a buck for the five games? You just got a steal. Want to pay a quarter? Fine. You’re cheap, but you can do it. Want to pay $50? That’s very generous of you.
The result? I’ll tell you in a minute, but first, why don’t you check out the little video they’ve made.
The end result is that in seven days they have raised almost 1.1 million dollars, part of which they’ve donated to two charities. The average donation was $10, so roughly $2 per game. That may not seem like much, but remember there is no middle man. There is no store front, publisher, or distributer taking their share. It’s all money in the pocket of the developers. In addition, they are likely to see a bump in future sales because more people are playing the game and telling their friends. I’m not sure how big the teams of developers are, but hopefully that lets them quit their day jobs and focus on the next game.
Which is the goal of most writers I know–make enough money so they have time to write the next book.