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'Twisted Metal' creator jumps ship for Kickstarter?


David Jaffe was most recently seen promoting the latest iteration of "Twisted Metal," the franchise he helped to create. But last week, just a before the game's long-awaited release, he announced his departure from the studio that developed the game, Eat Sleep Play, which he also co-founded. Jaffe is now set on starting a new outfit, and how will he finance its games? Possibly Kickstarter.

As previously reported, Double Fine's record-shattering Kickstarter (which is close to reaching the $2 million) has led many in the game industry to seriously consider crowd-funding potential in financing projects from other high profile creators. Some are convinced that the it's a sign that the status quo is ready to be discarded. Others, like Jaffe, are not yet convinced:

I think the real question, whether in the next month, if [Double Fine's campaign] hits $2 million or $8 million, does that signal a new way of funding games? Or is this kind of a one-off thing, because it was led by [Double Fine head] Tim Schafer? Is this actually moving the needle? That, we don't know.

But it's still a path that he may follow himself. In the same interview, conducted by Gamasutra, Jaffe voiced weariness of the comparisons that would be invariably drawn, yet also stated:

I definitely think it's a really cool thing, so I would consider it. I think I would be really nervous because suddenly now it's not just a publisher's money. Suddenly you have all these peoples' money, and you don't want to let them down.

It was initially speculated that a primary reason for Jaffe's departure from Eat Sleep Play was due to the company's decision to focus on iOS development, which led to a somewhat sarcastic tweet about his future endeavors. But he has since clarified his reasoning: it would be simply too difficult to produce a large game from his home base in California with the rest of the team in Utah.

Jaffe's new studio is still a ways off. For the time being, he is on a maintenance contract for the next several weeks, to ensure that Twisted Metal's online play performs smoothly.

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Matthew Hawkins is an NYC-based game journalist who has also written for EGM, GameSetWatch, Gamasutra, Giant Robot, and numerous others. He also self-publishes his own game culture zine, is part of Attract Mode, and co-hosts The Fangamer Podcast. You can keep tabs on him via Twitter, or his personal home-base, FORT90.com.