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Square Enix Collective offers publisher-supported crowdfunding

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Collective is a newly launched approach to crowdfunding from Square Enix. The website describes it as a “curated platform that enables creators to post ideas, and gamers to judge whether those ideas should become reality or not.” Ideas met with community approval during a 28-day pitch period are then ushered along into an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign with some help from the publisher.

Once the initial evaluation phase is over, Square Enix sits down with the pitch creator in a “due diligence process” that serves two purposes: to reassure the community that the necessary tools and skills are being brought to bear on the idea, and to work out a budgeting plan. Ideas that fail to make it through this second stage of the process will still get feedback from Square Enix. Pitches can be submitted at no charge.

The Collective adds a new step to the crowdfunding process, albeit one that could potentially bring the added weight of an established game publisher to any campaign. It still comes down to a proper funding hunt on Indiegogo, but the project in question should be able generate some interest in the fan community by the time it reaches that point. That’s the whole idea.

A couple of fine points remain unclear. There’s no by-the-numbers rundown on the website of how projects can be submitted. There’s also no real sense given of how Collective-hosted ideas get to the point that they’re approved for the second phase of the process. Square Enix promises more info on both of these points next month, when the Los Angeles Convention Center hosts GDC Next from November 5-7.

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