Double Fine’s Kickstarter-funded adventure game Broken Age will be released in January 2014 via Steam Early Access, but it will be incomplete according to an update sent to backers from studio head Tim Schafer. The Kickstarter campaign raised $3.3 million last year, but according to Schafer the game still needs more funding. Those who contributed to the game’s Kickstarter will still get early access to part of the game in January, then after a short delay it will also go on sale on Steam. Schafer plans to use the money from those sales to fund the rest of the game, which he plans to release as a free update to the initial purchase in April or May of 2014.
Schafer also wrote that although the Kickstarter campaign for the game that eventually became Broken Age received eight times the $400,000 goal it asked for, the studio had concerns all along about being able to finish it. But rather than making dramatic cuts that they didn’t want to make, going back to Kickstarter (it “seemed wrong”), or asking a publisher for the money, Double Fine came up with this plan.
“Then we had a strange idea,” Schafer wrote. “What if we made some modest cuts in order to finish the first half of the game by January instead of July, and then released that finished, polished half of the game on Steam Early Access? Backers would still have the option of not looking at it, of course, but those who were sick of waiting wouldn’t have to wait any more. They could play the first half of the game in January!”
“I think I just have an idea in my head about how big an adventure game should be, so it’s hard for me to design one that’s much smaller than Grim Fandango or Full Throttle,” he explained. “There’s just a certain amount of scope needed to create a complex puzzle space and to develop a real story. At least with my brain, there is.”
Double Fine recently concluded another Kickstarter drive for a new strategy game called Massive Chalice as well. The campaign nearly doubled its original goal, wrapping up at $1.2 million, but if almost three times that much wasn’t enough to finish Double Fine’s adventure game, one has to wonder where the studio will turn when it runs out of funds for this project too.