Square Enix's experiment in licensing fan-made, crowdfunded sequels to old games they own today emerges from its bunker for the first time with the launch of Fear Effect Sedna. It's a supernatural stealth shooter following up on Kronos Digital Entertainment's old Fear Effect games from the PlayStation. Sedna is actually a sequel to the original Fear Effect from the year 2000, though it does tinker with ye olde structure a little in going from that fixed-camera survival horror to more of a top-down shooter style. A remake of the first game is in the works too.
Sedna takes Fear Effect's shoot-a-sneak-a-puzzling away from Hong Kong for a jaunt into Inuit mythology. The series' original writer, John Zuur Platten, has chipped in on this story. Observe, moving pictures:
Fear Effect Sedna is out later today through Steam and GOG for £16/€20/$20. Initial reviews (such as Destuctoid's) do not seem hugely enthusiastic. Sushee had released a demo but took it down in January, saying that the "demo really no longer represents the final game".
With this out, Sushee can now focus on Fear Effect Reinvented, their remake of the first game.
Squeenix have talked about licensing old and unused corners of their library since 2013, when they first announced the Collective, their weird crowdfunding support service. In 2015 they finally revealed the first three series to open up: Fear Effect, Anachronox, and Gex. Well, it's not like they had any other plans to make money off them. Nothing has happened with either Gex or Anachronox, but Fear Effect is all go.
"When we first discussed the concept of Collective, one of the things we had in mind was opening up older franchises to enable indies to pitch us ideas for them," Phil Elliott, Squeenix West's director of indie publishing, said in the launch announcement. "It's great to see what Sushee has been able to do at this level with Fear Effect Sedna in bringing something new to Fear Effect universe - plus, it’s also led to Fear Effect Reinvented, so it's exciting to see it all develop."
I wonder if Square Enix might consider letting fans play with some of their juicier stockpiled series (seriously, Gex?) if this goes well. I wonder if I would even want to play crowdfunded fan-made sequels to some of my forgotten favourites. I wonder if nostalgia is a terrible cloud concealing beautiful open skies from us, though that is more of a perennial video games concern than specific to this.