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Valve: Let the Community Finance Games

According to Valve Software's Gabe Newell, the gaming community should finance games, not publishers. His comment stems from a recent video interview with Good Game (FLV), citing that funding and concepts--those that gamers really like--should occur between developers and consumers, not developers and publishers.

To reiterate his point, Newell briefly describes the current development process from a financial standpoint: $10 million to $30 million dollars are allocated at the beginning of each project. This means that there's a "huge amount of risk" associated with this fund. He also said that decisions have to be incredibly conservative.

"What I think would be much better would be if the community could finance the games," he said in the interview. "In other words, 'Hey, I really like this idea you have. I’ll be an early investor in that and, as a result, at a later point I may make a return on that product, but I’ll also get a copy of that game.'"

Consumers making money off games? That sounds like a great plan, but ultimately would it work? Additionally, if projects don't receive enough money upfront, what then? And what about those Duke Nukem Forever projects that remain in limbo for years and years?

Naturally, the idea raises a lot of questions. However, it's not surprising that developers--and even publishers--are looking for ways to reverse the industry's plummeting revenue. According to NPD, total sales were $1.17 billion in June, dropping 31-percent when compared to the $1.7 billion earned in June 2008.

"This is one of the first months where I think the impact of the economy is clearly reflected in the sales numbers," said NPD's Anita Frazier. "This level of decline is certainly going to cause some pain and reflection in the industry."