Obsidian Entertainment‘s CEO Feargus Urquhart claims that his company has been approached by multiple video game publishers over the last several months that asked the developer to start a Kickstarter campaign, with the end goal being a free game for the publisher.
Urquhart revealed the nefarious activity in the comments section of the company’s Project Eternity Kickstarter page, saying:
“We were actually contacted by some publishers over the last few months that wanted to use us to do a Kickstarter. I said to them “So, you want us to do a Kickstarter for, using our name, we then get the Kickstarter money to make the game, you then publish the game, but we then don’t get to keep the brand we make and we only get a portion of the profits” They said, “Yes”.”
Unfortunately, but understandably, Urquhart would not say who any of the offending publishers were, but I suspect that most of us could come up with a list of a few different companies that would be brazen enough to pursue this type of plan.
At some point I’m sure that one of these publishers will actually pull this off. It should be pretty interesting to watch the reaction when Kickstarter backers suddenly realize that the project they funded is owned and published by an entirely different company.
My hope is that the market reacts appropriately to whatever that game happens to be.