Fans of odd but charming adventure and platforming games got a nice surprise last week when Tim Schafer and Double Fine announced that they were starting a crowdfunding campaign for Psychonauts 2, the long awaited sequel to the 2005 cult classic. For those who missed it, Psychonauts follows a young boy named Razputin and his adventures at summer camp. The twist being that the camp is run and attended by psychics. Raz spends his time platforming through the inner psyches of the camp counselors and getting to know the eclectic cast of characters. The game ends on a cliffhanger which has left fans waiting for a resolution.
The fact that it has taken ten years for Psychonauts 2 to surface in unsurprising. Psychonauts was Double Fine’s first game and was plagued by issues prior to release. Office moves, artistic issues, and publisher confusion caused the game to take four and a half years to get published. The studio has also been quite busy, releasing 20 games since Psychonauts.
So far the crowdfunding effort has been successful. It gathered more than $1 million one its first day, and at the time of writing had received more than half of its $3.3 million goal. The thing that makes this particular campaign intriguing is that it is being hosted on a new site, Fig.co. The site features two funding options: the Kickstarter style reward tiers per amount pledged, and an investment option where you can earn a return based on the game’s sales. With a minimum investment of $500, you can become a part owner of the revenue that Psychonauts 2 generates. To be exact, a $500 investment will net you $2.50 per $68,376 in gross revenue the game generates. This continues until you break even, when your return is reduced to $1 per $68,376. Roughly speaking, you’ll break even if 700,000 units are sold at the expected $21 wholesale price. If that all sounds a bit complicated the site provides a calculator where you can tweak numbers to find out what return you’ll earn. Choosing to invest means you forgo the rewards that backers receive, so if you want to play the game, you’ll have to buy a copy separately.
Previously, only accredited investors, “US Persons” with $1 million in the bank or $200,000 in annual income could invest in these kinds of crowdfunding deals, but not anyone can get in on the game. The SEC reduced regulations on non-accredited investors so now anyone can invest up to $10,000 a year in start-up ventures. Investing in a crowdfunded game is far from a sure thing, but being able to say that you invested in and own a share of the revenue from a game would be pretty fun.
Psychonauts 2 is slated for a 2018 release.