When I said, "Take my money Replay, take it now," in response to the announcement that Replay Entertainment had acquired the Leisure Suit Larry property for the purposes of remaking the series, I was being figurative. Replay must have taken me at my word, however, as they've begun a Kickstarter campaign to generate funds for the development of HD remakes of Leisure Suit Larry.
This news irks me. I was thoroughly excited by hearing that the games were being made but the announcement of this fundraising drive calls a little into question how serious Replay really was about putting this project together. They're seeking half a million dollars in funding and the Kickstarter itself seems to be focused on Land of the Lounge Lizards (the first Larry adventure), but repeatedly mentions the entire series, so it's not entirely clear whether we're funding the first game or the whole run.
Of course, if the Kickstarter blows up, I suppose it could just go from one to the other and Replay is offering some rather nice rewards for those who wish to contribute. For contributing at various levels, you'll get a copy of Leisure Suit Larry in The Land of the Lounge Lizards RELOADED (digital or physical, depending on your contribution), the soundtrack, an art book, even a Leisure Suit Larry-branded condom. There are even a couple of rewards for high rollers who want to donate some big money, including an opportunity to be immortalized in the game by having your name used as part of the solution to a pivotal puzzle.
That said, I'm not a very happy camper here. The whole thing reeks of jumping on the bandwagon, particularly coming as it does six months following the announcement that these games were in development. I'm a little uncomfortable with the sheer volume of Kickstarter projects floating around in our games business these days, frankly. Until we start seeing some strong, practical examples of the crowdfunding and participatory development elements working which people can point to and say, "this is how you do this well" (a charge which will no doubt be led by developments at Double Fine, whether they like it or not), I'm keeping my wallet firmly in my pocket.
Right after I make sure Larry gets made.
Make Leisure Suit Larry come again [Kickstarter]