Crowdfunding website Fig is no more

The crowdfunding website Fig for video games, which supported the creation of titles like Psychonauts 2 and Homeworld 3, is no longer accessible.

As reported by RPS, the news was shared by Double Fine and Blackbird Interactive, who issued updates shortly before the website’s shutdown. “We’ve been informed that the Fig website is going to be brought offline on Sunday, May 28th,” wrote Double Fine’s community manager Harper Jay on the Psychonauts 2 Fig page, adding “that means we’re going to have to shift our communications to a different hub.” Likewise, Homeworld 3’s publisher Gearbox published a similar post on its official website, stating “We are committed to continuing to provide you with consistent updates and visibility into Homeworld 3 through alternative channels.”

It appears both studios were given little warning about Fig’s imminent shutdown. Jay notes in their update that the revelation was “a bit of a surprise to us too!” while Gearbox’s post states that the company “recognize[s] that this news is sudden”. Regarding outstanding backer rewards, both studios reassured Fig backers that they would be contacted about these by email.

Originally launched in 2015, Fig’s prominence as a crowdfunding platform rose alongside the announcement of Psychonauts 2. It was selected as the platform for the game’s crowdfunding campaign in favour of Kickstarter, which developer Double Fine used for its previous game Broken Age. Unlike Kickstarter, Fig allowed some users to invest in projects and receive a share of future revenue. Double Fine’s CEO Tim Schafer was also on the Fig board, alongside other notable game developers such as Brian Fargo and Cliff Bleszinski.

It was an idea that bore some fruit. The first game published on Fig, Kingdoms and Castles, quickly made a million dollars in sales and doubled the return for its investors. Other notable games to use Fig included Wasteland 3, Outer Wilds, Pillars of Eternity 2, and Phoenix Point. Larger events affected some of Fig’s more high profile projects, however. Double Fine’s acquisition by Microsoft changed the payout to investors from being contingent on game sales to a fixed payment. This was higher than the initial promised payout, but was also a one-time affair. In 2021, Gearbox announced that it wouldn’t be collecting reserved investments, due to the company’s acquisition by Embracer Group.

Fig itself was acquired by Republic in 2020. According to the platform’s website Republic “curates private investing opportunities with high-growth potential across startups, gaming, real estate, and crypto”. It’s worth noting Republic had previously announced the Fig website would be closing, although no date had been specified. Ongoing campaigns will also not be affected by the shutdown of Fig, and have already been moved to Republic’s own funding system.

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