Could fan finance be the way forward for games?

In an online video interview Gabe Newell, the head of Half-Life 2 creators Valve, has floated an interesting idea: getting gamers to bankroll game dev

He says the approach could led to more interesting and different games to be made since developers wouldn't be beholden to risk-adverse game publishers.

Instead fans would pick games they want to see released and invest their own money in it. In return they would get a chance to make some money if the game is a success as well as a free copy of the game.

Musicians have already been using fan finance for some time. Prog rockers Marillion, for example, got their fans to their 2001 album Anoraknophobia.

It's a great idea and has a lot of potential although I doubt fan finance could cover the costs of making a blockbuster game like Half-Life 2. The recent Ghostbusters game, for example, cost somewhere between £15m and £20m to make.

But fan finance could easily provide funding for smaller scale games such as World of Goo or pay for new downloadable content on a bigger budget title.

Anyone up for becoming a game investor?