Square Enix has invited developers to throw on their thinking caps and pitch ideas for new games based on the older franchises Gex, Fear Effect and Anachronox, and saying that developers should “go wild”.
“What would Gex look like in a side-scrolling adventure or a turn-based strategy? …feel free to mash up genres, and get creative,” the publisher stated in a press release issued yesterday afternoon.
The new announcement forms part of Square Enix’s “Collective” initiative, that was launched back in November 2013 in an attempt to partner with indie developers on crowdfunding efforts. Developers pitch their idea on the Collective website, and once a game gathers enough interest, it enters into a closed assessment period by the publisher to ensure that the proposal is viable. Should the game pass through the necessary checks, it then moves on to crowdfunding sites and the publisher helps to promote the game and offers the developer a publishing agreement if they want one. Square Enix have said that they will take 5 percent of the net crowdfunds raised (if the initial crowdfunding target is reached), another 10 percent as a distribution fee and finally an additional 10 percent license fee for the use of the IP (intellectual property) – and that’s not mentioning the fees taken by the crowdfunding sites themselves or any applicable taxes.
Square Enix justified this by saying it will still be the responsibility of the independent developer to build the game, and insisted the developer “will still be the key beneficiary of its success”.
“And, obviously, we’ll have more involvement in the direction of development,” Square Enix said, “because let’s face it, we want to make sure the game that’s released is the game that’s promised.”
So far 36 original game ideas have been published through Collective, however only three have been successfully Kickstarted: Sand Sailor Studio’s Black The Fall, Kitfox Games’ Moon Hunters, and Goetia from French developer Sushee.