Polygon (via Gamasutra) put out a piece last week covering Kowloon Nights, the Hong Kong investment fund that is basically backing a bunch of upcoming games all over the genre map. None of them appears to be a traditional MMORPG, but a couple of the multiplayer titles jumped out at me. For example, the studio behind Duelyst originally ran a Kickstarter and signed with a publisher, but for its next game, it sidestepped both to sign on with the investor group for the budget and the flexibility to do something “bigger and more experimental.” That made me ponder whether part of the MMORPG genre’s problem right now isn’t that it leaped from AAA publishing to Kickstarter – might we see more originality if there were more Kowloon Nights – and NantWorks – in MMO land?
Of course, there are other options in this version of would-you-rather; it’s handy when a friendly bajillionaire shows up to bankroll a game, or a studio is still operating on the success of its latest title, or it can pull a cool $200M from crowdfunding. But those aren’t really the norm for MMORPGs.
Would you rather an MMO be backed by a publisher or investor groups?