Unlike Kickstarter and most other crowdfunding platforms, Fig allows project sponsors to actually invest in games and get a return on them: supporters can opt for rewards from conventional sponsors or they can buy "Fig Game Shares, ”who may or may not pay financial dividends based on the success of the project. The system seems to be aimed primarily at institutional investors rather than gamers eager to play an obscure RPG that no conventional editor can find, but seems to work. The $ 4.4 million was raised Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire, for example, was divided almost uniformly between conventional sponsors and the funds in Figs.
Homeworld 3 was also a crowdfunding project from Fig. It was a little different from most because it actually had an editor, Gearbox, and a goal of only $ 1. The purpose of it all was to allow fans to "invest and participate in the success of the title," Gearbox said in 2019 and help guide its development through exclusive sponsorship surveys and comments. FIG campaign page promises the same: "There is a unique opportunity to invest in the success of Homeworld 3," he says. "Not only do you get the game. You also have the opportunity to benefit."
Unless not. In the emails sent to the holders of the Homeworld 3 "investment reservation" (via Reddit), Fig said that due to "recent changes to Gearbox", will not collect investments.
"Rest assured that Fig has never charged you for the investment reservation and that this will not affect Homeworld 3 orders," the email says. "In addition, the game and all associated rewards continue to reach those who have purchased them."
It is not specified what these "recent changes to Gearbox" are, but it is supposed to be the result of the acquisition of Gearbox by Embracer Group earlier this year. Fig CEO Justin Bailey, who confirmed with GamesIndustry.biz that the email shared on Reddit is legitimate, implied the same, explaining that Gearbox was purchased by Embracer before the investment process could be completed. In fact, Fig said in his email that after his own acquisition by Republic, has changed the way it manages investments and now raises money for investment, which should prevent this kind of thing from happening again in the future.
The good news for Homeworld 3 fans, in the midst of all this, is that the game itself isn’t affected at all: “Everything is on track with the development of Homeworld 3,” Fig.
We don’t know much about Homeworld 3 yet, but it’s currently expected to come out someday in 2022. I’ve contacted Gearbox for more information on the funding change and I’ll update if I get a response.