Videogame designer Jane Jensen and composer Robert Holmes have announced the formation of Pinkerton Road, a new studio devoted to developing adventure videogames. The independent studio will use a unique “community supported gaming” model to make Jensen’s distinctive videogames available to subscribers, along with exclusive behind-the-scenes involvement in the videogames’ development. Pinkerton Road will be headquartered on the couple’s Pennsylvania farm.
Community Supported Gaming (CSG) is a concept Jensen and Holmes derived from Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), a subscription model in which consumers financially support independent organic farms in exchange for regular orders of fresh produce and a direct relationship with the people growing their food. Jensen and Holmes plan to build a similar community relationship through the development and delivery of their videogames. To kick off Pinkerton Road’s initial CSG season, which will run through June 2013, they have launched a Kickstarter campaign with a $300,000 funding goal: http://tinyurl.com/pinkertonroad-csg.
Jane Jensen is best known for her acclaimed adventure games: thrillers with complex, dramatic plotlines that are often grounded in real historical mysteries. She began her career at Sierra On-Line in 1989, where she worked on the flagship King’s Quest franchise before creating her own supernatural mystery series, Gabriel Knight. She next co-founded Oberon Media, where she designed more than a dozen story-focused casual games including Deadtime Stories and Dying for Daylight, as well as adaptations of James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club novels and Agatha Christie’s mysteries. Her most recent adventure, Gray Matter, released in the UK in 2011 on both PC and Xbox 360.
“I’ve wanted to return to adventure game development for years, and now is exactly the right time. The casual game market is ready for meatier fare and the hardcore audience is nostalgic for games like these. Plus, tablet use is exploding, which gives us access to a brand new audience of e-book readers – an ideal target for story-based games,” says Jensen. “Forming Pinkerton Road means retaining control of my ideas and ensuring my games’ quality all the way through development. At this point in my career, this level of involvement is very important to me, and I know it will enable me to get my best work out to my fans.”
During Pinkerton Road’s inaugural 2012-2013 season, the studio will develop up to three videogames funded by backer donations as well as private investments. In return, the studio’s CSG members will get first access to the videogames, regular video updates from Jensen, opportunities to participate in beta tests and weigh in on development decisions, and, at the higher donation tiers, receive an exclusive invite to an on-site open house to meet the Pinkerton Road family in person at the studio farm. Three videogame concepts are currently under consideration, and project backers will get to vote for which videogame Pinkerton Road makes first.
The Pinkerton Road 2012-2013 CSG Kickstarter campaign will run through 19th May 2012. Electronic Theatre will keep you updated with all the latest details on Pinkerton Road’s adventurous project, and the forthcoming videogame titles from the studio.