OK, we know at this point there have been millions of blog posts and articles about the awesomeness that is Kickstarter. Like many others, we’re continually inspired by the potential of the platform to allow a new means for great ideas to take shape. With this week’s success of Ouya, a new open source gaming console that broke Kickstarter records by raising over $2.5 million in its first day, we were reminded of the disruptive and exciting potential of putting the power of content and product creation into the hands of the masses.
As an artist-driven studio, it is easy to become frustrated from time to time by the hoops that require jumping through in order to get content distributed to consumers. The reality of the entertainment industry has long been that very few large, powerful conglomerates have held the keys to the kingdom of both financing and distribution. Because of such constraints as corporate identities, branding cohesiveness, and bottom line profit potential, there is only so much risk-taking that can happen with content backed and distributed by large companies. We’re not saying that great content doesn’t make its way out there under this system, or that grass-roots distribution with the advent of new technologies hasn’t made an impact of its own. The challenge of adequately funding cutting-edge content and products for wide-spread distribution, however, has long been plaguing small creative companies and individuals.
As the thriving open marketplace for mobile apps has proven, there is a massive desire for a lower barrier for entry that allows a number of smaller content creators to coexist with larger players. As previous Kickstarter successes like Double Fine Adventure have proven, people are willing to pledge support to see creative content come into fruition. The true power of Kickstarter is that it enables smaller entities to fund projects, take big risks, and find an audience. Ultimately, it leads to quick execution and innovation. The added beauty of Ouya’s success on Kickstarter is that it showcases a desire for disruption not just from a funding perspective, but also for future disruption in open-sourcing content creation for console gaming. We’re excited to see what happens with this project moving forward, and, more importantly, how the norms of creation and distribution continue to morph and bend in ways that we hope will yield more creative freedom in this and other industries.