Crackdown 3 rumours went buck wild this morning after Microsoft and Crackdown 2 developer Ruffian Games both teased new game announcement. As it happens, the studio's new title is an indie affair being pushed out through a Square Enix indie initiative.
GI.biz reports that the Square Enix Collective – announced in October - looks to emulate Steam's success with Greenlight. The platform gives indie studios a chance to pitch new projects to consumers while offering a crowd-funding model, as well as development and distribution assistance.
Ruffian Games, Kitfox Games and Tuque Games were confirmed as the first developers to springboard off the service pilot. Addressing the program's similarity to other formats like Kickstarter and Greenlight, Phil Elliott, project leader at the Collective said, “There are other platforms out there that seem to do similar things, but I don't really see us as in competition with anyone.”
He added, “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.
"There are numerous examples around the industry of people who have great ideas and it really often depends on the relationships they have - if they get introduced to an influential journalist or maybe they just happen to be seen by a key YouTuber - the audience that those people can bring, well the rest is sort of history for those people."
The Collective works by first submitting new projects to consumers with transparency, and the most-supported pitches will move on to crowd-funding on IndieGoGo. If it gets funded, Square Enix can step in as distributor, but even then there's no obligation to side with the publisher, if the creators want to go elsewhere.
Elliot explained, “At the end of the feedback phase, if we feel the community is supportive of an idea, we may offer a team the opportunity to go through the Indiegogo process via the Collective campaign page. But they don't have to accept that, and can go to another publisher, or set up a crowdfunding campaign on another platform - it's up to them."
Square will take 5% of IndieGoGo crowd-funding, 10 % of net revenue if the project incorporates an Eidos IP, and a further 10% if Square acts as distributor.
In a statement, Ruffian Games producer James Cope said of the initiative, “Ruffian Games is really excited to be involved with Collective from launch, we think it’s a great idea that lowers the boundaries for smaller and more independent developers to get new ideas in front of an experienced audience. The benefits of being able to grow a following ahead of a crowd funded campaign are clear but Collective gives an extra level of confidence and the options open to us for distribution in the future are incredibly helpful.”
We'll have more on the Square Enix Collective games and program as it happens, but for now, what do you think? Is it a good model, seeing as successful projects have Square behind them at the end? Let us know what you think below.