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David Braben on Brexit, Crowdfunding and Elite Dangerous

We caught up with Frontier Developments founder at Gamelab 2016.

Gamereactor talked to Frontier Developments founder and CEO David Braben at Gamelab 2016, where he won the Legend Award, about various topics, although three things stood out during the interview

We asked Braben on his thoughts on Brexit and he said "well I think there's a lot of uncertainty now which has caused a lot of concern. What I'm hoping will happen is that common sense will descend. What I would really like to see is Europe sort out some of the issues that were behind, because it applies to all European countries not just Britain".

We also asked Braben about crowdfunding, something that he knows quite a bit about as he's the mind behind Elite Dangerous, which was a crowdfunded game. Braben is quite positive about crowdfunding and sees it staying around in the future but, he does acknowledge that there needs to be some changes and control.

"Crowdfunding has been around for a long time, I don't think it's going away, I think it is going to change. I would like to see some more controls of it because, I think that one of the problems is that there have been some conspicuous failures which is frustrating. There may be some conspicuous failures to come, which is a shame but overall, I think it's a wonderful thing. It's people getting together to follow their dream and I think that's a really important thing for people to do, to follow their dreams and I hope they will do and with crowdfunding, it enables more people to do that so it's a really positive thing. I think as an industry we need to be collectively more responsible".

It's nice to see someone being positive about crowdfunding as sometimes it can produce some amazing games and projects such as Yooka-Laylee and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night for example. Crowdfunding is a great thing and dreams can be made but there are times where crowdfunding hasn't worked due to lack of funding (which is always sad to see) or the project didn't deliver on the promises and has been considered a failure. One crowdfunded game that many see as a failure is Mighty No.9, which looked like a spiritual successor to Mega Man but sadly didn't meet expectations.

We couldn't resist talking about Elite Dangerous, a game which Braben was the director of, especially since Elite Dangerous had an update in May that introduced engineers. Braben hopes that people are seeing that he and the dev team are listening to the players.

"I think that the engineers has made it a lot better. With all of these things, there are things that we didn't get right and hopefully people are seeing that we are listening and we're changing things that we didn't get right. These things don't change immediately. You can make problems worse if you change things too quickly. We have a phrase in Britain, 'measure twice, cut once'. We are listening to people and hopefully people do see that".

Braben also acknowledged some of the negativity that Frontier had with Horizons. He knows that people loved the content but not the price it came at.

"We are listening to people and hopefully people do see that. With Horizons I think that there was some negativity, people love what we did but, there was negativity over the price and structure and we've changed that so hopefully people are happy with that".

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David Braben on Brexit, Crowdfunding and Elite Dangerous
Elite: Dangerous remains central to the efforts of Frontier Developments.

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