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As 2024’s big bad—Late Stage Capitalism—continues its grim rampage, some developers are looking to more innovative approaches to avoid the publishing industry’s self-sabotaging need for impossibly endless growth. Stormgate creator Frost Giant—a studio created by former StarCraft 2 devs—is following up on its recent Kickstarter success by now inviting players to invest in the company directly.

There’s a good reason people are excited about Stormgate. Big-name RTS games are few and far-between of late, and given the popularity of the e-sports scenes, and an ever-more desperate audience, a new title from the people who created StarCraft 2 is a big deal. A demo released during the most recent Steam Next Fest proved enormously popular, the second most played of the event, only beaten by Dungeonborne.

Frost Giant Studios

Via Start Engine, Stormgate is looking to bring in more cash by letting people “own a piece of Frost Giant.” Exactly why is an interesting question, given just how much money Frost Giant has already raised for an RTS that is reported to have received over half a million wishlists on Steam. According to its own campaign page, the ex-Blizzard team has already received $34.7 million from investors, including big names like Riot Games, alongside just this February securing an enormous £2.38 million from a very successful Kickstarter.

Generally, when you see a project running multiple investment schemes at once, it’s a warning sign. Cough-Star Citizen-cough. However, all signs of Stormgate are looking good, even just finishing its first streamed championship despite the early code. Although, details are very scant on the Start Engine page regarding exactly what investors will eventually receive. Right now, you can only “reserve,” which means no actual money will be taken if you register your interest in a $494 investment, with an option to go through with it at some unspecified point in the future.

According to VG247, Frost Giant says it’s doing this because “big publishers [are] laying off hundreds of game workers seemingly every day, and making decisions that prioritise near-term profits instead of worker and player happiness.” The press release continues, “We’re choosing to control our own destiny and self-publish our game in the West with direct support from our player community.”

The scheme has only interested a total of eight people at the time of writing, which given no money is actually being committed isn’t perhaps a stellar success. But it’s also incredibly vague and unspecific, especially in regards to what sorts of returns are on offer here for your pseudo-shares. It’d also be interesting to know how much of the company remains owned by the developers after $34 million of external investment. Some more clarity, and a yet-to-happen social media push, will presumably see this garner more attention, and we’ve reached out to Frost Giant to ask for more information.

The game is due to enter Early Access in Q3 of 2024, and will be free-to-play. If it can truly capture the spirit of StarCraft 2, but with a more modern mindset, this could be a huge reinvigoration of the RTS e-sports scene. Although, whether you want to gamble an investment on that is up to you.



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