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Kickstarting Console Gaming: Crowdsourcing the Gaming Industry
I’m sure by now you’ve probably heard of Kickstarter, the website where anyone can post an idea they want to bring to fruition and have the people fund the process. As it turns out, a multitude of start-up indie game developers have been utilizing Kickstarter’s crowdsourcing program to bring their games to life, and have been met largely with success. There exists an entire section of the website dedicated to gaming, both video and tabletop. What’s even more interesting is that cheaper alternatives to household console gaming have seen a massive amount of success, the most notable of which include the OUYA and the GameStick.
This little powerhouse was designed to meet the needs of players on a budget. it’s only $99 and was developed to come forth as a console-based alternative to all of those free-to-play games that are primarily made for phones. Most notably, however, is the fact that the OUYA is completely open-source and fits everyone’s needs due to its simplistic design and easily rootable Android OS. The OUYA has even received a hail of praise from some of the more well-known developers, including Notch and even Square Enix.
After meeting its Kickstarter goal in less than a day and beating said goal by nearly 650%, the GameStick, is on track to rival the previously-funded OUYA in what might look to be a very intense fight for the free-to-play indie console market, as specific of a market as that may be. Where the OUYA follows the traditional console and controller model, the GameStick is both the controller and the console, appealing to gamers as not only a more portable, smaller alternative choice, but it’s also cheaper, weighing in at only $79.
So what exactly does this mean for the rest of the gaming industry? As it turns out, gamers can be just as satisfied with lower-cost systems that, though it may not be top-of-the-line graphically, have a great number of quality games as opposed to a gaming machine worth several hundred dollars with a handful of decent games. Perhaps the next few generations of game systems may see the same move toward lower prices and digital content rather than bulky systems and disks. Maybe the next generation may see the rise of an alternate crowdsourced company attempting to beat out the big three (Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft). Crowdsourcing might be the most realistically interesting way to revolutionize the video game industry.