Square Enix Launches ‘Collective’ Crowdfunding Platform
In October, we reported on Square Enix’s new foray into crowdfunding. The Collective program pairs the community voice aspect of Steam Greenlight with crowdsourced funding. Today, the first three titles are available as part of a 28-day pilot.
Those games that make it through the voting and funding phases have a chance at Square Enix funding and publishing support, though these are not guaranteed. Included in the first wave is Crackdown 2 developer Ruffian Games and two Montreal studios: Kitfox Games and Tuque Games.
Ruffian is working on a title called Game of Glens, which brings together six "traditional" Scottish games. The activities include tower building, whiskey protection, and pig punting.
Kitfox will be releasing its first title, Shattered Planet, in March. For The Collective, that studio is proposing a title called Moon Hunters, a procedurally generated, cooperative, exploration game.
World War Machine will be Tuque’s first game. The title envisions players as machines living in a post-human world. The action-RPG features procedurally generated worlds, and customization and configuration reminiscent of classic mech games. You can see all three pitches on the Collective website.
This process might get developers a bit more buzz before entering crowdfunding, but it also sets up false expectations. There is little to link an attitudinal response to the “Would you fund this game?” question to a behavioral response if and when some of these titles reach the funding phase. I still find myself confused about what Square Enix gets out of this, and I would caution those developers choosing to use the platform to moderate expectations.