Square Enix enters crowdfunding with Collective program

One reason so many developers have turned to crowdfunding is to escape publishers, but what if you want a publisher? What if you secretly crave their help and love and approval? Square Enix is wading into the crowdfunding waters with a new program named Collective, which also has hints of Steam Greenlight.

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One reason so many developers have turned to crowdfunding is to escape publishers, but what if you want a publisher? What if you secretly crave their help and love and approval? Square Enix is wading into the crowdfunding waters with a new program named Collective, which also has hints of Steam Greenlight.

Developers can submit ideas to the Square Enix Collective for members of the gaming public to gawp at for 28 days. If an idea's popular enough, Squeenix will step in to make sure the dev is able to make it then launch a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. Why would anyone want this? Well, it's also teasing the possibility of getting to make new games using some older Eidos IPs.

Attempting to lure devs in on the Collective website, the publisher says they will get to "showcase your project pitches to a dedicated, core gaming community and get feedback on your plans," and "Talk directly to the people who could be the ones to fund or buy your game, and start building momentum behind your game idea." The public feedback could conceivably be replaced by simply thinking carefully before launching a campaign, mind.

Collective community head Phil Elliott told Gamasutra that it wants developers "to walk away with the majority of the sales revenue, and we want to reinvest any profits back into the platform."

One strength of the Collective is that Square Enix will carefully vet pitches to ensure the developer can deliver on their pitch, which is supposedly to make potential backers feel more confident. However, well, several years of the Kickstarter boom have clearly shown that people will back almost anything as long as it sounds nice.

Publishers certainly have a lot of experience in areas that developers might not be so good with, but devs can bring them in for these specific tasks anyway. Wasteland 2 developer inXile brought in publisher Deep Silver to help with boxed copies, physical backer rewards, and localisation, for example.

So why get involved? Well, the Square Enix name does carry a certain prestige, it has oodles of experience in launching games, the Greenlight-like step would build hype pre-crowdfunding, and the opportunity to work with those mystery Eidos IPs is a little tempting. If Squeenix thinks a developer's pitch would fit with of those idle franchises, which will be revealed in November, it may let them use it.

From The Chatty

  • reply
    October 8, 2013 11:00 AM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, Square Enix enters crowdfunding with Collective program.

    One reason so many developers have turned to crowdfunding is to escape publishers, but what if you want a publisher? What if you secretly crave their help and love and approval? Square Enix is wading into the crowdfunding waters with a new program named Collective, which also has hints of Steam Greenlight.

    • reply
      October 8, 2013 11:19 AM

      Isn't that how it always works anyway?

      Dev: "Here's my great idea for a game!"
      Pub: "Yeah thats cool, but you know what would be cool? If we call it "X" franchise and you change it to fit that."
      Dev: "Uhh, okay, I guess. I mean I like working rather than living in a cardboard box so that sounds reasonable."

      It's how we get stupid shit like that Nosgoth game.

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      October 8, 2013 1:18 PM

      Alright, somebody contact Tom Hall and tell him to pitch Anachronox 2.

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        October 8, 2013 1:40 PM

        Would Anachronox still hold up today? That's one game I always meant to play but never got around to.

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          October 8, 2013 2:09 PM

          There are some noticeably antiquated elements to it (namely, the combat system and user interface), but I think it still holds up pretty well. The first time I played it was actually quite a while after it released and I loved it, but of course I can only really speak for myself. I quite enjoy the characters and the dialog that manages to transition from comedic to semi-serious fairly seamlessly, which is the main attraction for me—there's a lot of personality there. One of the better looking games to be made on the Quake 2 engine, too.

          It's a shame that from what I understand the game basically had to be cut in half so they could get it out the door. I'd like to see it get a proper ending some day, but after so long and unless key people from the original came back to work on a sequel it might not have the same feel to it.

          Anyways, it's only $6 on GOG. Not like it puts much of a dent in ones wallet to give it a chance.

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      October 9, 2013 1:00 PM

      this just seems so bad on so many levels.. why would anyone want to do this?
      Its better to come up with your own great idea you have full control over.. than work and invest your time into something that someone else has final approval on.

      Plus I find it shady that a publicly traded company is outsourcing the development cost to us gamers
      without investing any of their own money, yet am sure they cut themselves a nice big cheque at the end no matter what... hell I wouldn't be surprised if they pocketed a part if not all of the development money they raised and shut the thing down.

      don't get me wrong it would be great to see some of the old IP back, but sometimes its just enough to be a spiritual successor of a long lost franchise or game with a fresh new start.
      I mean I loved wing commander and mega-man games but am sure that Star Citizen and Mighty Number 9 will be as good if not better than the games they are based on.