Do gamers want to be a part of the development process?
One of the best things about the gaming industry is that you can get instant feedback on your products. Gamers tend to be very committed to the games they play and often provide valuable feedback for developers and publishers.
Is it time to make gamers a more integrated part of the process?
One idea would be to let gamers invest directly into a game's development and fund part of the game thus reducing the risk of the developers and publishers. This would of course grant the investor (gamer) the right to participate in special forums to discuss the game and vote in special polls on decisions in the game design.
Naturally this would require a developer open to direct feedback from gamers, and likewise gamers who can accept that it's not possible to grant every single wish. As investors, gamers would also take part in the potential return on investment generated by the project.
I'm not saying Paradox is actually planning anything of the above, but it would certainly be an interesting path for the gaming industry to take. There has been some initiatives so far, but we are yet to see this funding model for high-budget titles.
I for one, would certainly like to see it happen.
Ps. I had my first game of more kills than deaths in Mount & Blade: Warband the other day, unlocking the “Every breath you take” achievement. This week I will be focusing on Lionheart and Majesty 2: Battles of Ardania.