The Kickstarter-funded Broken Age is to be split into two acts as creator Tim Schafer claims to be “designing a game so big that it would need even more money.”
After raising over $3 million on Kickstarter for the project, Schafer said in a letter to backers that asking a publisher for the funds to continue the project without sacrificing quality and scope was “out of the question” – as he claims it would violate the spirit of Kickstarter – and that “going back to Kickstarter seemed wrong.”
He also thanked backers for being “very generous.”
“Clearly, any overages were going to have to be paid by Double Fine, with our own money from the sales of our other games,” wrote Schafer. “That actually makes a lot of sense and we feel good about it. We have been making more money since we began self-publishing our games, but unfortunately it still would not be enough.”
The Double Fine founder then went on to explain “a strange idea”: the team will make “modest cuts” to finish the first part of the game ready for next January – as opposed to the previously planned July.
The game’s second act will then be released as a free update around April or May. Backers will get the game in full, without having to pay anything more.
In turn, the first act of Broken Age will be released on Steam Early Access – a service which allows developers to sell full, but unfinished, versions of their games. This, according to Schafer, will allow Double Fine to fund development on the game’s second act.
“So, everybody gets to play the game sooner, and we don’t have to cut the game down drastically,” he said. “Backers still get the whole game this way—nobody has to pay again for the second half.”
“And whatever date we start selling the early release, backers still have exclusive beta access before that, as promised in the Kickstarter.”
Tim Schafer’s letter to backers can be found in full, here.