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Square Enix is opening up their cache of IP to independent developers to take to Kickstarter so that gamers can fund the games and then Square can publish them. The move has already garnered tons of feedback, and Square is now moving ahead with allowing indie devs to resurrect a few more old intellectual properties from their vault.
AllGamesBeta has a press release up from Square Enix explaining that the next wave of IP will be made available for developers.
According to Phil Elliott, project lead on Collective, he commented about the new IP being made available to indies, including Gex, Fear Effect and Anachronox, saying...
“I’m excited to see what talented teams might do with any one of Gex, Fear Effect or Anachronox IPs. We’ll monitor the response carefully before deciding which IPs to release next,” … “And it goes without saying that we’re delighted for the whole Goetia team, as they become the latest member of the Collective family alongside Moon Hunters and Black the Fall in hitting their funding targets.”
Goetia was one of the other intellectual properties Square lent out to an indie studio to do with what they pleased. The studio lucky enough to get their mitts on the property was Ynnis Interactive, whom you might remember from the game Shiness, which was also Kickstarted and managed to receive support to appear on the Wii U.
Moon Hunters was another big success on the Kickstarter front under Kitfox Studios. It's an interesting new take on the classic sprite-based RPG design.
With Square putting classics like Fear Effect, Gex and Anachronox out to the indie community, just about anything can happen. I get the feeling that Fear Effect's social commentary would probably buffer a lot of current day social issues into something that would keep the media talking for a while, especially given that the main character was a lesbian and was quite beloved by the community back in the day.
Anachronox is a bit of a tough nut to crack. The game was a bit of a comedy, role-playing adventure game set in a sci-fi, cyberpunk universe where players traveled to various planets and explored a rather diverse and character-driven story. The biggest problem with Anachronox was that it's designed for an audience that doesn't fit the “broadly appealing” factor. It's a niche game and it dealt with some other mature subject matter that's not going to easily appeal to everyone, especially those who adopt politically correct sentiments.
If I had to pick a safe and easy-to-back IP out of the three games, I could easily see Gex being made on a moderate budget with a new-school twist. Today's technology is perfectly tuned for something like Gex and a 3D, side-scrolling platformer made in Unity 3D is just an instant shoe-in for success.
According to Elliot...
“We first announced we’d be opening up Eidos IPs for developers to pitch on, with our initial announcement of Collective in November 2013. Since then we’ve worked hard to establish the Collective platform as a viable place for small teams to build awareness for their ideas, and then for the community to feedback – and vote on those projects they’d potentially back through crowdfunding.”
This still reminds me of the Obsidian deal where a publisher wanted gamers to foot the bill, have Obsidian do all the work and the publisher reaps the profits when the game goes on sale.
However, people are free to do what they please and if they want to support Square Enix in their endeavor they can do so by paying a visit to the official Collective website.