Square Enix wants to help indie developers make their games. They're partnering with Indiegogo on a new crowdfunding platform called Collective.
Interested developers begin the process by pitching their project to the player community. Over the course of 28 days, the community have a chance to check out the proposed game and give feedback. If the project receives enough support from gamers, it's Square Enix's turn to evaluate the project. They'll review the game to ensure that it's actually feasible.
"Each project pitch submitted goes through an evaluation phase to ensure ideas sit within the submission parameters, 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, " Square Enix says on Collective's teaser site. "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."
"If for any reason you don't make it through this due diligence phase, we'll give you feedback on why, or what you might need to add – so whatever happens you get something you can work with."
Square Enix's oversight might be a relief to gamers who want to support crowd-funding efforts but are worried that the developers won't deliver on their grand promises. The flip-side of this oversight, though, is that gamers are going to hold Square Enix accountable if the Collective projects they backed don't live up to their expectations. The company's going to have to tread carefully here.
If Square Enix approves the project, it will move into the crowdfunding phase. The community can donate money toward the development of the game and continue offering feedback on its direction.
Submitting pitches is free. Square Enix says that there are some "terms and conditions" associated with using Collective, though. Additional details will be announced at GDC Next, which begins on November 5th at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
The most intriguing part of Collective is Square Enix's tease that developers could get a chance to "work with some of the older Eidos IP from our back-catalogue." I guess that's what Square Enix gets out of this whole arrangement: a way to profit off of their long-dormant franchises. This gives me hope that we could see another proper Legacy of Kain game. Square Enix will reveal the IP's they're opening up to prospective developers at GDC Next.