You want to know why gamers hate AAA publishers these days? They're full of bull crap. They answer to shareholders. They don't care about the games. They don't care about game culture (i.e., see the original Xbox One DRM policies, EA's Simcity launch, Blizzard's original launch of Diablo III or Capcom's disc-locked content for examples). Their goal is all about how to control and manipulate cash flow from the gaming industry. They don't care about gaming.
On the flip-side, developers and gamers live and breathe gaming. They love it. We love it. To preserve the integrity of game culture developers have taken to crowd-funding and gamers have followed them. It bypasses the greed culture of shareholder-beholden publishers... or at least, that's what we used to think.
The crowd-funding bubble has always looked leery to some gamers standing on the outside, waiting for the glass house to crack under the pressure of the invading greed machine from that flip-side I talked about at the top of the article. This has already happened in some one-off cases, and was partially outed by Obsidian Entertainment when they were approached by a publisher to finish a Kickstarter while allowing the publisher to take control of the IP and receive royalties on some of the net revenue. If you think that's disgusting, wait until you get a load of Square Enix's new platform.
Roderick Kimble from Gamer's Glance brought to our attention an article on GamesIndustry.biz, where they did a brief write-up on the new service launch from Square Enix called The Collective (and I can't help but think of “collection agency” whenever I see the name).
The service is setup for Square Enix to help independent developers find a “platform” and “voice” to speak to gamers with their crowd-funded project. Gamers can offer feedback and scope out potential crowd-funded titles. Square will moderately help with some marketing and promotion of the game, help distribute a game, and they offer up light access to some of Eidos' intellectual properties.
As noted by Phil Elliot, the project manager of Collective...
"What I really want people to be able to do is benefit from the scale of a publisher. By that I mean that at Square Enix we have an ability to access things which small teams and new teams don't. They just haven't got those relationships. Whether it's being able to talk to the press or having millions of people we can ping out a marketing email to - our social channels. It's easy for us to make those things available for teams."
The idea is for the Collective to help indie devs get “eyeballs on their ideas” and help them really “run with it”.
It's like... it's like... what publishers were supposed to do in the first place, right?