News | 2/11/2012 at 8:48 AM

Beyond Co-Op - February 5th through February 11th, 2012

Welcome to Beyond Co-Op, a weekly piece that talks about industry stories that may or may not be related to co-op gaming.  We like to take a look around the industry and see what news and links may interest you in the world fo gaming.

- Double Fine Uses Kickstarter to raise over a million dollars for new game
- Blizzard and Valve are in a Court Battle over DoTA Trademark
- Skyrim's Many Possibilities


Double Fine Uses Kickstarter to raise over a million dollars for new game

Double Fine wanted to prove many publishers wrong.  They wanted to prove to the world that there was still a demand for point and click adventure titles like PC games of old.  Games like Kings Quest, Day of the Tentacle and Monkey Island still had fond memories in many folks hearts and Tim Shafer's studio, the creator of many of these classic games wanted to rekindle that romance.  So instead of proposing a game to numerous publishers and being denied along the way, Tim decided to use Kick Starter to raise $400k to build the game with legendary designer Ron Gilbert.  In 24 hours Double Fine raised over 1 million dollars.  In 48 hours they are now over 1.5 million.

So what exactly is Kick Starter and how is it used?  The jist of it is this. You submit an idea to Kick Starter and submit a list of "bonuses" that you will give people who give to your cause,  these start with things like a copy of the game but can end up with things like signed posters, lunch with the designers, and hand drawn art.  Basically the more you give the more you get.  Needless to say, "Double Fine Adventure Game" has exceeded everyone's expectations.  

There's still over a month left to fund the project and while it no doubt has lost some steam, it shouldn't be hard for it to break 2.5 or 3 million dollars - which according to Shafer is 2 to 3 times as big as some of their recent XBLA titles.  As you can see, something like this definitely has the potential to change the industry for medium sized developers, freeing them from the shackles of a publisher, and allowing them to interact directly with fans.

Source: Kick Starter


Blizzard and Valve are in a Court Battle over DoTA Trademark

Two of the biggest names in PC gaming are in a heated battle over trademark for a Warcraft 3 mod.  Defense of the Ancients is a popular mod for the game that has spawned titles like League of Legends and others, in fact, many of the original mod developers work at LoL developer Riot Games.  But Valve is making their own DoTA game soon and like Riot, a few of the mod developers are working for them as well.  These makes Valve think they can claim trademark on it.  But Blizzard is also claiming that since the mod is for Warcraft 3 they own the rights to it just as much, and they plan to release their own DoTA clone for Starcraft 2 this year.  

Our friends over at Colony of Gamers explain it best:

But at the end of the day we're still talking about two giant companies fighting over the rights to a name which neither of them developed. There's something really disturbing about this, at elast in part because each of the two competing products - Dota 2 and Blizzard Dota - will be successful even without the name. Gamers are smart enough to know that the genre, whether you call it Dota, MOBA, or whatever, is the draw not the name. But we're going to get a fight, and in all likelihood one company will have to change the name of their game when all is said and done. 

Source:  Colony of Gamers


Skyrim's Many Possibilities

Our final story of the day deals with one of the best single player games to come out in the past year, Skyrim.  At this week's DICE conference, Bethesda's Todd Howard showed off a video of some possible mods or enhancements coming to the game.  These were developed in a "Game jam" - one week in which developers were allowed to do whatever they wanted to the game.