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Square Enix launching Collective crowdfunding program

Square Enix launching Collective crowdfunding program

Tue 08 Oct 2013 7:55pm GMT / 3:55pm EDT / 12:55pm PDT
PublishingDevelopment

Publisher teams with Indiegogo for "curated platform," assuring backers that devs have ability, assistance to follow through on promises

Square Enix today unveiled details of its new crowdfunding program, Collective. The publisher is calling the initiative "a curated platform that enables creators to post ideas, and gamers to judge whether those ideas should become reality or not."

As described, developers would pitch their game ideas to the Collective community for 28 days, giving gamers a chance to provide feedback and decide if the proposed project is something they would want to play. If the community gives the go-ahead, Square Enix will then enter a "due diligence" phase with developers in preparation for an Indiegogo campaign. In this phase, the publisher will screen pitches to make sure that developers have the skills and tools they need to make the proposed games, but also work with the game makers to create a budgeting plan.

The pitch process is free, but Square Enix has said developers would have to agree to some unspecified terms and conditions. Additionally, Square Enix said some of its dormant Eidos intellectual properties will be made available for developers to use in Collective projects.

"Collective encourages an open development process, and as much transparency and communication with the community around decision-making during the development phase as possible," the company said.

Square Enix has said it will provide more details on Collective at GDC Next early next month.

6 Comments

Axel Cushing
Writer / Blogger

103 129 1.3
Yeah, I think I might want to be waiting till after that GDC presentation before jumping on board with this. It's that whole "unspecified terms and conditions" that has my common sense tingling. If they're halfway competent, they'll imitate Steam Greenlight as much as possible without getting sued by Valve. If they're smart, they'll make something more attractive than Steam Greenlight.

'Course, this is Squeenix we're talking about...

Posted:10 months ago

#1

Eyal Teler
Programmer

77 77 1.0
The concept sounds good. A real publisher involved with crowdfunded projects could do good for them (and of course also the other way round, we'll have to wait and see). Also making old IP's available is surely a dream come true for some devs.

Though as a backer I prefer Kickstarter to Indiegogo as a platform.

Posted:10 months ago

#2

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,154 941 0.8
With a publisher involved, it does concern me that this is covertly re-introducing a layer that crowd funded/indie developers may have been trying to remove. Looking to find out more info on this...

Posted:10 months ago

#3

Tim Carter
Designer - Writer - Producer

556 293 0.5
Curation is a curiosity in the game industry.

In other art forms the only time a curator is involved is after the work has already been made, put out there, and now deserves a place in some pantheon... such as a film festival or a museum.

Curation, in other words, is done AFTER the work is made.

The point that the game industry doesn't understand is that money people need to get involved BEFORE the product is made... Probably even before it's developed enough to go to a Kickstarter campaign.

The crowd is not a utopia. Crowd-driven things always drive any work down to the lowest common denominator. You start out trying to make French cuisine but you end up making hotdogs and french fries.

Posted:10 months ago

#4

Rafa Ferrer
Localisation Manager

48 68 1.4
The crowd is not a utopia. Crowd-driven things always drive any work down to the lowest common denominator. You start out trying to make French cuisine but you end up making hotdogs and french fries.
Sad but so very true.

Posted:10 months ago

#5

Axel Cushing
Writer / Blogger

103 129 1.3
@Tim
The crowd may not be a utopia, but neither is a giant publisher. The bigger they get, the more risk averse they become, even when it was precisely that willingness to embrace risk that got them to their lofty position. Look at how diverse Electronic Arts was back in the old days. They had representation in virtually every genre out there and they had the love of fans almost everywhere. They had a name worth being proud of, because they delivered a wide array of great products. Now what have they got? Buggered MMOs, a critically popular but commercially second rate military FPS, a stable of RPGs that they seem intent on dumbing down past the lowest common denominator, and enough hate from their customers to kickstart a sustained fusion reaction in a protostar. Would the original Bard's Tale series get made by the EA of today? Would there be sims as detailed and engaging as LHX Attack Helicopter or sci-fi RPGs as offbeat as Hard Nova if they were pitched to the current management? My guess is that they wouldn't. The crowd may be fickle, but if there's any virtue to it, it's that when they love a project and the people behind that project, they will move Heaven and Earth to help get it made. It won't die on the whim of a single person.

Posted:10 months ago

#6

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