Thanks to the Square Enix Collective, the famed publisher is now turning to indie studios to aid in relaunching three of its old properties! Wow, I’ve always wanted to make my own Brave Fencer Musashi and SaGa games! Plus I have some killer ideas for a Chrono Trigger sequel. Where do I sign up?!
Oh, they mean three of their old “Eidos” properties, huh? Well, shoot. Goodbye dreams.
Actually Square Enix has a very neat idea on its hands here. Indie developers have become the bright-eyed visionary stars of the video game world, so why not let them work with a few IPs that nobody cares about anymore!? If they mess up, oh well, it’s not like the franchise had a future anyway. If they score big, then its overnight fame for the indie team, a sparkling new franchise for Square Enix to work with, and plenty of happy fans from the early days of these cult hits.
For the first wave, Square Enix is taking pitches from indie studios for their ideas on new Gex, Fear Effect and Anachronox. I’m familiar with all three franchises, and these are exactly the kind of throwaway franchises that would fall flat in the hands of a AAA developer but totally rock on the indie scene. I’m excited to see what the pitches turn up with, and Project Lead Phil Elliott also expresses enthusiasm on the project.
“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.
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.”
Gex was, for all intents and purposes, a Sonic the Hedgehog inspired platforming mascot that never quite rose to the same level of prosperity. Maybe launching on the 3DO had something to do with that.
Anachronox is essentially Final Fantasy if left in the hands of the studio that made the first Deus Ex. Again, not a hit, but there is potential here.
As for the Fear Effect series… well, it played home to two really interesting cel-shaded super-spy games with a couple of female protagonists who were partners in more than just a professional sense. I’m not sure how that would fly on today’s market, but it’s definitely something Square Enix won’t want to put in the spotlight like Eidos did back in the day. Those advertisements were not subtle in the least!
Again, all three are ripe for innovation, and all three could do very well in the hands of the proper indie studio. If they prove successful, the games must be crowdfunded to become a reality.
Ubisoft has embraced the indie mentality with smaller games like Child of Light and Grow Home, but this is one of the first times we’ve seen of a major publisher shipping out its own IPs to be developed by genuine indie studios. Talk about the chance for a big break!