Gaming is an industry worth billions of dollars. Every year a mass of new titles gets published, bringing joy to gamers all over the world.
In the traditional game development model, funding was often controlled by small groups of executives working for giant companies.
The rise of crowdfunding challenged the status quo and allowed ordinary people to support the games they wanted to get made.
Enter Fig, a community-powered video game publisher that supports independent game developers. Fig allows investors to fund games while also reaping the added benefits of revenue sharing.
With the help of fans and individual investors, Fig has successfully funded over 40 titles in the last five years, with returns on individual investments reaching as high as 300%.
In 2020, Fig was acquired by Republic. Together, we aim to create exciting opportunities for our community of investors while contributing to the expansion of the indie gaming industry.
The future of investing in video games is electrifying, and Fig’s founder Justin Bailey joined us this week to tell us all about it. In this episode we discuss his journey in the gaming industry, the evolution of gaming, and some of the success stories of projects funded through Fig’s platform.
Justin’s journey and how Fig came to be
Gaming has always been Justin’s passion. At the age of 14 he got his first job at a video game store. He later went on to pursue a career in finance, but eventually found his way back to the gaming industry by joining Namco Bandai, where he was named head of the greenlight committee.
At Namco Bandai, Justin witnessed a disconnect between executives and fans that drove him to search for a way to bridge the gap. While later working in a similar role at a company called Double Fine, he saw how a Kickstarter campaign for one of their prototypes was wildly successful in ways he couldn’t have predicted.
This was a game-changing experience for Justin. He recognized crowdfunding as an opportunity to include consumers in the development process and get feedback early on. Eventually, Fig was born.
Digital Eclipse is a major publisher of classic games for home consoles that can be invested in through Fig.
How is open investing changing the video game industry?
For many years now, the video game industry has been an exciting avenue for investors. One of the main appeals is the resilience it continually shows against recession, as recently confirmed in the aftermath of the COVID crisis (according to the NPD Group, consumer spending on video games jumped 30% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the first three months of 2020). Games have enjoyed more popularity with people stuck at home due to COVID restrictions, but there is also a broader trend at work: during economic downturns people tend to splurge on small pleasures, making video games reverse recessionary.
Since crowdfunding became an option, the game development industry has advanced in multiple ways.
Independent game developers are now more likely to succeed because they no longer have to jump through corporate hoops to get funded.
Game developers have the creative freedom to fully realize their vision without outside influence.
A more diverse range of games is available because people from different backgrounds have better access to funding for their projects.
Fig has taken crowdfunding one step further: it opens up new investment opportunities with revenue sharing, allowing anyone to buy shares and earn dividends based on a game’s success.
Moonray is a breathtaking action-RPG, described as "Dali meets Dark Souls," available for investment through Fig,
Some of the biggest success stories on Fig
One of the titles that was funded on Fig managed to pay itself off to investors before it even launched. The Kingdoms and Castles project started out small and quickly raised a sum over three times larger than the initial goal. It later went on to generate a whopping $10 million in revenue.
Not only have games on Fig been able to make a return for their investors, but they’ve also started racking up awards.
A game called Outer Wilds has won the prestigious BAFTA award for Best Game of the Year 2020. It was also the first game ever to be funded on Fig’s platform. Another Fig-funded title, What the Golf, recently won IGN’s Best Mobile Game of the Year.
The success Fig has had over the years inspired a brand new product called Portfolio Shares. The idea behind it is to allow investors to back all projects on Fig with a single investment. Justin is particularly excited to announce Portfolio Shares because it is one of the most requested features from the Fig community.
With new investment options, both developers and investors get more of what they want—a definitive win for the video game industry.
To keep in the loop for the latest developments in crowdfund investing, make sure to follow this podcast and listen in every week. Leave a rating and a review, and let’s bring profit back to the people together.
Ready to start investing in your future? Then head over to www.republic.co and find a startup you’re passionate about.
This content is provided for educational purposes only by Republic. Nothing discussed should be construed as legal, tax, accounting, or investing advice. The views of the presenters may not be the views of Republic and its affiliates. Always consult with trusted professional advisors before making investments. Private investments are inherently illiquid and may result in a total loss. All rights reserved.