Despite being one of the most promising indie RPGs in quite some time, Lab Zero Games’ Indivisible is struggling to get anywhere in its Indiegogo campaign. After two weeks, the game has only raised $349,000 of its requested $1.5 million, or roughly 25 percent. The remaining $2 million will be put up by 505 Games if the campaign becomes a success.
Word on the street is that some are wary of Indivisible because they think $3.5 million is simply too much money. I mean, it’s just a silly indie game with a professional art style, 20-30 hours of gameplay, sidequests, a huge cast of colorful characters, plenty of monsters to duke it out with, and a unique battle system unlike anything else the indie scene has put out in recent memory.
Never mind that Lab Zero Games has already cranked out one very successful title, Skullgirls, and it has the experience to properly assess the price of development. Never mind that it already has a quality working prototype which it can use as a basis to judge the rest of the game. Nope, a bunch of guys with no experience on the Internet know better. Well, why not let Lab Zero Games change your mind and break down where that money will go to?
Over the weekend, Mike “Mike Z” Zaimont explained the game’s price tag in the same fashion it is promoting its game: heavy comparisons to Super Metroid. That game took 23 people to make, and if each of those people were to accept the United States poverty line salary of $20,000, it would still have a budget of $460,000 for just one year, $1,380,000 for the game’s entire three year development phase. That’s just so the developers wouldn’t be starving and could have a roof over their heads while they made the game.
Add in the price of marketing, office rent, dev kits, and even an Internet connection, and you’ll begin to see how the dollar signs start to pile up. On top of regular staff, 70 total people worked on Skullgirls after factoring in outsourced artwork, and that of course only converts into more dough.
We can all have our opinions about crowd-funding and how we feel about shelling out money for a game that hasn’t been made yet. I’ve had my ups and downs with the idea, so I can understand hesitation. However, to tell people they are asking for too much is nobody’s call to make besides the developers themselves. That’s what they worked out as their budget, and since this is an experienced team that has delivered the goods before, it seems trustworthy enough to put that money to good use.
Maybe the pitch has other issues, like trying to rally support for an RPG from a fighting game fanbase, and that is why it is struggling. However, criticizing a $3.5 million price tag to make a really solid looking game just because of the assumption that it should be cheaper… that is a bit unfair.