Today I’m very excited to re-introduce the Digital Foundry Supporter Program. We’re relaunching our crowdfunding drive on Patreon with two new tiers and lots of new rewards. Support the team and you’ll get exclusive behind-the-scenes videos plus early access to our weekly discussion show and more. Oh, and if you like DF Retro, we’ve got something exciting for you. We want to do bigger, we want to do better – and we need your support to do it.
It’s time for a change – but first of all, I want to thank our existing Patreon supporters out there for their support. Over the years, it’s been a rocky road to actually making Digital Foundry a viable business, and your support has been crucial in getting us to where we are now. We’re humbled that, in our surveys and conversations with you, you have told us that supporting our work is the most valuable benefit of our Supporter Program – even more so than the pristine quality video downloads we provide. The concept of support comes up time and time again, along with the idea of getting closer to the DF team and our daily work. So, thank you – it means a lot to us.
Let’s talk about the new Patreon tier structure:
Digital Foundry Supporter – $5/month: Mirrors our existing tier, with 4K video downloads and Discord access
DF Premium Supporter – $10/month: Early access, bonus material, behind-the-scenes content + all previous benefits
DF Retro Supporter – $15/month: Early access to new episodes, Retro Corner show, Q&A and more + all previous benefits
At the base level of Digital Foundry Supporter, nothing changes. The Supporter tier offers you the same access to digitalfoundry.net, which allows you to get high bitrate downloads of every video we produce – and indeed every video we have produced since November 2016. No download limits, no ads.
On top of that, there’s Discord access, which I highly recommend taking advantage of. We’ve found this community to be positive, friendly and helpful in shaping the direction of our projects and workflow. The final perk? Our Patreon page is regularly updated with new posts, including a breakdown of our working week as soon as our Monday morning content meeting concludes. Oh, and want to get involved in the DF Weekly show? Ask your questions when the weekly post crops up on Patreon.
The Digital Foundry Premium Supporter tier, at $10, includes a bunch of extras. You’ll get early access to our DF Direct Weekly show; this goes live on Monday afternoon UK time, but premium supporters get early access on Saturday, two days ahead. If podcast streaming support isn’t set up by launch, it soon will be. Other early access opportunities will be available to premium subscribers – if videos are complete and non-embargoed, we won’t wait for a YouTube upload slot. You’ll get it as soon as we’re happy with it.
Behind-the-scenes content can be extras from projects we’ve published, such as the Bloodborne 1080p60 PS5 footage we acquired. We’ll be sharing all of it. You’ll see some of our research curiosities too: for example, I had a go at producing a 4K AI upscale of the classic E3 2000 Metal Gear Solid 2 trailer.
We’ll also be going back to our massive archive of data and video that began in 2010. This content could never be shared at decent quality levels back in the day, but we retain the original captures. So, for select titles we’ll be remastering this classic content, delivering it in original 720p format and also cleanly upscaled for better results on a 4K screen.
Finally, we want to use funding from the Digital Foundry supporter programme to deliver content that we love to produce, that we know our supporters enjoy but simply don’t make financial sense on a platform like YouTube. One example of this is Tech Focus, Alex’s series on rendering techniques that define the visual make-up of the games we play. The premium supporter tier gives you early access to the new episodes of Tech Focus before it goes live for everyone on YouTube.
This is all about delivering more of the stuff we love and we hope you love too – so we want to take this opportunity to expand and grow DF Retro, a rightly beloved part of the channel, but one that absolutely needs support to grow and to flourish into everything it can be. And that’s where the $15 DF Retro Supporter tier comes in.
Retro gaming is John Linneman’s passion. DF Retro is his chance to give classic games the focus they deserve, delivered with the highest possible production values. You might have noticed that our showcase episodes have been somewhat thin on the ground in recent times and the DF Retro Supporter tier is all about addressing this. With your support, we’ll be shifting to producing one deep-dive episode per month, starting with a forensic look at id software’s Quake. Join the DF Retro Supporter tier and you’ll get early access to these showcase episodes weeks before they go live on YouTube.
There’s more: Retro Supporters will get production logs and behind-the-scenes stories from the major episodes, plus early access to our DF Retro Play series. We’re putting together an exclusive Retro Corner show, where John will be joined by his friend and fellow enthusiast Audi Sorlie to chat about the latest additions to their retro collections and to talk about the latest retro news. We’ll also be doing a monthly retro Q&A where we field questions from supporters. This is the foundation of where we want to take DF Retro – and yes, we’re going to need your support to give this crucial part of the channel more resources and more attention.
Beyond all this, the Digital Foundry YouTube channel as you know it stays exactly as it is – the same content, the same amount of videos. In fact, you might see a little more than usual. DF Direct Weekly, for example, which has been going for a few weeks now, exists because of our plans for the Supporter Program.
Aside from the benefits, I’d like to take a moment to explain why supporting us more directly through the Patreon is so important to us both personally and professionally. We are proud to be part of the Eurogamer and ReedPop extended family, but Digital Foundry still needs to work as a business in its own right, and at present most of our revenue comes from YouTube. YouTube is a brutal environment which demands constant effort and Google takes 40% of all ad revenues we do get.
So the Digital Foundry Supporter Program is crucial to us being able to invest more and bring in more contributors to make our work better and our lives easier. More excitingly, being able to produce videos we’re passionate about that might not do so well under YouTube’s algorithms is really important to us, and the Supporter Program gives us an avenue for that. At the same time, we want to bring our biggest supporters closer to the team than ever before. Check out everything we have to offer at patreon.com/digitalfoundry and I’ll hope you’ll join us – it’s going to be awesome.