Think Steam Greenlight meets crowdfunding: Square Enix's new initiative will allow independent developers to get crowdsourced feedback on pitches before taking to Indiegogo for funding.
Square Enix wants more games to get made. The Japanese games developer and publisher has partnered with Indiegogo on something that it is calling Collective — a new initiative that sounds a lot like Steam Greenlight or Lego Cuusoo and crowdfunding combined for a comprehensive platform that allows creators to collect feedback from users every step of the way.
Before seeking funding on Indiegogo — with which Square Enix has partnered for Collective — creators will be able to post their project pitch to Collective. For 28 days, users will be able to vote on and provide feedback about these pitches, allowing creators to adjust their ideas accordingly if they see fit, and gauge whether the project can generate enough interest for a solid crowdfunding campaign. After 28 days, if the project has received enough interest, it can move across to Indiegogo.
"Each project pitch submitted goes through an evaluation phase to ensure ideas sit within the submission parameters," Square Enix wrote, "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."
The aim seems to be to remove some of the uncertainty usually associated with crowdfunding. Famous examples of crowdfunded games failing to deliver include the Neal Stephenson-promoted Clang, Code Hero and Lovecraft-inspired board game The Doom that Came to Atlantic City.
"The rise of crowdfunding platforms have pushed the concept of gamer choice to a new level, and Collective allows you to use your voice — but with the reassurance that before a project goes through to the funding stage, it'll be checked and helped by our team to confirm that the scope of the pitch is in line with the team's ability and ambition to create, as well as utilising our experience of game production to attach realistic budgeting plans," Square Enix wrote.
Of deep interest to talented developers, Square Enix has one more cherry on top of its Collective cake. It will be opening up IP from its Eidos back-catalogue, offering developers the chance to work with some beloved classic games. Which titles will be offered has yet to be announced, though; Square Enix plans to reveal more details at GDC Next, which is taking place on 5-7 November in Los Angeles.
You can find more information and contact Square Enix with your questions on the Collective web page.