The troublesome burden of being an IP rights holder is starting to get to Square-Enix, who just can’t take it anymore. The publisher has announced the Collective, a sort of combination of Steam Greenlight and crowd-funding that’ll enable game devs to pitch ideas to the company. If, after 28 days, the game has gained enough support from the people then they’ll allow you to take the pitch to IndieGogo. Now you’re probably thinking that people can do that anyway so what the hell, Square-Enix? They can, that’s true. But Square are doing this so devs can pitch to work with “older Eidos IPs”.
It’s unlikely that we’ll see Arkane pitching for Thief Or Hitman, but Proteus Dev Ed Key could pitch a new Backyard Wrestling game. I’m just spit-balling, here. Take over, Square, before I go mad.
Each project pitch submitted goes through an evaluation phase to ensure ideas sit within the submission parameters, and if the community backs your ideas we’ll work with you on a due diligence process to give the community reassurance that you have the expertise and tools you need to create the game you’re planning to – plus we’ll use our experience of bringing games to market to help you work out how much you’ll need to raise to make it a reality.
So you pitch, the crowd votes, then you have to raise the money?
There’s a kernel of a good idea here, and maybe Square’s financial situation means they’re a bit scared financially back a game that’s been cleared by the Collective, but why does this has to be crowd-sourced at all? Why not just let indies come to you with ideas and you give them the yay or nay? Forcing this two-step public consultation seems to put a lot of burden onto the dev without any guarantee of a financial reward. As problematic as Greenlight is, at least the people on there can source opinions and earn money at the same time, but with this it’s a month of work to shape a pitch, then at least a month of work on IndieGoGo. There’s no suggestion of any financial risk or support on the publisher’s side whatsoever. There’s also no word on how any profits are split.
Square-Enix will release a few more detail at GDC Next, including a list of IPs people can pitch for. I hope they can clarify some of my concerns.