After Double Fine raised over $3 million on Kickstarter for their new adventure title, Tim Schafer made the tongue-in-cheek comment that "there still might be a few games made by publishers after today". It would seem that it's feasible to skip the long, politically-driven, bend-over-backwards pitch to publishers and find funding from the fans for their game projects.
In a statement to GameFront, Schafer expressed how Kickstarter and other crowd-funding initiatives is the beginning of a new "game revolution" for developers:
I'm a little scared, well, for them, because I see a lot of resistance to it. 'Well, that's someone else's business – we don't want to be in a race to zero,' or something like that.
Ron Gilbert echoes this sentiment:
I think they (publishers) are going have to (change the way they interact with players) because the world is changing and small developers are getting these personal relationships with their fans and people that play the games, and I think the really big publishers need to embrace that or they're really gonna miss this whole kind of revolution that's happening right now.
Developers who have a dedicated fanbase, particularly niche third-party developers, may not need to kowtow to publishers anymore. Of course, we need to see what Double Fine creates with all that money, with our hope that they don't screw it up. It won't look very good for crowd funding if it makes cruddy titles. That said, I think we're in good hands with Double Fine.