Chris Taylor On The Future Of Gas Powered Games
Over the weekend, Chris Taylor announced the sad news that he had to let a number of staff members of Gas Powered Games go as he feared the company would not survive should Kickstarter fail.
There was a lot of debate around the topic, and in the video update Chris Taylor himself posed the question on whether or not the Wildman Kickstarter project should continue.
Yesterday Taylor took to Reddit to answer questions in an AMA, many of which focused on the future of not only Wildman, but the company in general.
The Future Of Gas Powered Games
“I didn’t want folks to go without PTO and severance,” says Taylor, “so I made a tough call to let them go. But in my heart, I knew that many would take the weekend to think about what they really wanted.”
Taylor added that Gas Powered Games is “much smaller now” but that it will still see the Kickstarter for Wildman through to the end.
“What’s weird, is that I think GPG would have truly been dead if I hadn’t laid off the team, but of course there was no way for me to know what would happen.”
Some staff members who were laid off have come back to see the Kickstarter project to its end, too. “They have a very clear picture of the risks,” says Taylor, “and had the weekend to think clearly about what they wanted. Some people have chosen to move on, and those who stay know that the future is uncertain.”
Many were surprised by the announcement, especially considering that Wildman was only in its first couple of days of the Kickstarter: “GPG is in a very interesting situation, as we had enough money to get us through to the end of the campaign. What became obvious by day 4, is that the campaign was going so poorly, there was no way it was going to happen.”
The Wildman Kickstarter
So why use Kickstarter at all if the company was in such dire straights?Chris Taylor admits it was perhaps a little naive, but nothing malicious at all.
“It’s highly risky to go after the niche, but hey, I thought Kickstarter was going to be a good solution for it. If folks like it, they’d fund it, otherwise, you’d have to find another game… but I’m unsure if that’s true now.
“And it’s looking like Kickstarter is just for nostalgic games (when they are on the higher end of the cost scale).”
Taylor then discusses the negativity surrounding the announcement, saying “Some have said that it was an elaborate scheme to manipulate people… I’m like, wow, you’ve got to be kidding me… anyone who could pull that off has much bigger balls than me.
“I am still shocked that anyone could even think that, especially people who know me… and I’ve been in the business 25 years, I’ve got a reputation, and I’ve never, ever, been known to pull that kind of shit.
“I know it came across as negative to believe that the project would not be funded, when instead I wanted folks to know, I was trying to be realistic. If you compare Wildman against Project Eternity, Star Citizen, Wasteland 2, etc, we weren’t even in the same ballpark.”
Will Wildman Get Funded?
Now the company’s survival is at risk, Taylor is trying to stay positive for the Kickstarter. The latest update on Wildman promises more updates on the game this week, with gameplay details incoming.
“I’m really not happy that too many people are pledging not because they like the game, but because they feel sorry for us. That’s not what making games is about! I feel terrible about that.
“I want people to support it because they like the idea. Otherwise it’s not a true process. If it’s the wrong game at the wrong time, then we need to be sent packing.”
If it’s not the game that gets funded, claims Taylor, then the whole reason for doing a Kickstarter is moot.
“I really don’t want anyone pledging out of sympathy for GPG… though I really appreciated it on Friday, because we were all so down about the numbers.
“However, we really need to stay focused on the game, and if people think the idea is bad, then they need to say so, and not pledge.”
Things are looking up for the company however, despite the bleak news.
“What’s interesting, is that after the announcement on Friday, it’s actually been the best thing to happen in terms of business development.”
“We’re getting lots of calls, and there’s lots of exciting conversations that we’re going to have in the weeks ahead to explore ideas. I have no idea where any of this will go, but it’s going to be interesting to find out!”
If you’re interested, take a look at GPG’s intriguing RTS/RPG hybrid Kickstarter and – if you pledge – you’d be helping to see a talented developer stay on. It’s a win-win.