It was last year that Square began a project, titled the “Square Enix Collective”, wherein they would make some of their unused intellectual properties available for independent developers to pitch ideas on. It managed to create one successful kickstarter project, which may have been the impetus behind Square’s announcement today that they are adding three more titles to the mix.
The three new IPs being made available for enterprising developers to take advantage of are the platformer Gex, the action/spy series Fear Effect, and the criminally underrated Anachronox.
Though it has its critics, I believe the idea is clever and offers skilled developers the chance to attach their name to a game that has built-in recognition.
If the response is good, then it’s into crowdfunding, which no doubt begs an important question: Why ask gamers to pay for a game to be made if it’s using our IP? Well, because it will still be the responsibility of the independent developer to build the game – and the developer will still be the key beneficiary of its success.
On the business side, we’ll still take 5% of net crowdfunds raised (assuming the initial target is reached); and we will also distribute the game when it’s done – for that we take the standard distribution fee of 10% net sales revenue, but we’ll also charge a 10% license fee for the use of the IP. And, obviously, we’ll have more involvement in the direction of development – because let’s face it, we want to make sure the game that’s released is the game that’s promised.
Although Gex and Fear Effect are more than worthy of a sequel or reboot, Anachronox fans have unfortunately suffered the worst out of all three. With Tom Hall unable to create a sequel once Ion Storm went belly-up, the game ended on a cliffhanger that was originally intended to transition into the sequel. Perhaps now, if a developer cares enough for the property, that sequel will get made.