Square Enix Launches Collective Game Funding Platform
Back in October, Square Enix announced their new Collective program that was a combination of Steam Greenlight and crowdfunding into one platform. Proposed indie games are presented to users, they vote on which they’d like to see made (similar to Greenlight) and those selected by the community go to crowdfunding to get money to make it.
This week, Square Enix officially launched Collective and unveiled the first three games to be put the community for approval.
The three games up for approval are:
- Game of Glens by Ruffian Games – A game where you control a Scottish clan and build towers, collect resources and attack your enemies.
- Moon Hunters by Kitfox Games – A procedurally-generated open-world RPG for one to four players. The game includes puzzle solving, a crafting system, a non-linear story and hand-drawn pixel art.
- World War Machine by Tuque Games – An action-RPG set in a post-apocalyptic world in which humans have uploaded their consciousnesses into machine and fight as war machines for survival. The game features drop-in/drop-out co-op for up to five players, procedurally-generated worlds and customizable machines and weapons loadouts.
Each of those games will spend 28 days in the “Feedback Phase.” If a proposal garners enough support, Square Enix will evaluate whether the dev can actually complete the game as promised before allowing it to go to a crowdfunding phase on Indiegogo.
So far, World War Machine is well on its way to approval with 89% of votes backing the game. Moon Hunters is in good shape at 79% favourable votes. Game of Glens is struggling with only 31% approval votes as many commenting users suggest the casual look of the game and lack of anything immediately perceived as innovative doesn’t make it worthy of approval or crowdfunding.
While Collective seems fairly similar to Greenlight on the surface, Square Enix insists that the game has benefits over the current set of various stores, community platforms and crowdfunding sites. Phil Elliott, Collective project leader at Square Enix, says, “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.”
As with any approval or crowdfunding platform, it’s going to have an initial wave of popularity before settling into normal operations. How many games get on to Collective and the quality of them will go a long way in determining how successful the platform is. But with so many places to check for crowdfunding, Collective has to find a way to keep from getting lost in the shuffle. That might be Square Enix’s biggest challenge.