In the crowd we trust

The Crowd (via Sreejith K's photostream/Flickr)Column originally featured on MediaPost

I like Valve. The development company is one of the major reasons the PC market has remained a thriving platform for core gaming even in the face of dedicated gaming consoles. Valve offers indie developers and modders a platform for distribution through the Steam service. They also revitalize classic titles with similar distribution deals. So when managing director Gabe Newell talks about crowd-funding games, it might not just be a cursory side comment.

It’s an interesting concept. Games are expensive to make, and crowd-funding or pre-purchases could certainly help bankroll titles, especially for smaller developers. But if the crowds are financing the games, it begs the question: What about crowd-sourced games?

Crowd-sourcing has worked out great for a number of brands, and has proven to be a very powerful evolution from user-generated content. Looking at RYZ Shoes, or the success Starbucks has had from MyStarbucksIdea, it’s clear some very nifty things have been created by listening to user contribution. However, gaming and entertainment properties haven’t really begun that listening process. Read more.