I’m fully on-board with “don’t work for spec”. But there’s something that’s been bothering me a bit about the whole reaction to this thing.
I can’t help but think that the discourse would be very different in response to “Nintendo collaborates with Pokemon community to write dialogue for NPC Pokemon trainers” or “SEGA opens submissions for Sonic OCs to be included in new Sonic game” or “Square Enix and Disney work with fans to design new costumes for Sora and his friends”.
Hell, Megaman Legends 3 did almost this exact thing just a few years ago. Where were all the hot takes?
TF2, CS:GO, DOTA 2, and Warframe have been doing literally this exact same thing for years, (arguably even worse). They’re not just asking for concepts or amateur poster art, they want full professional-grade 3D models, textured, normal mapped, and everything. You submit “on spec”, and if you get accepted you get a minute cut of the sales. Why isn’t anyone covering this ongoing “gig economy” labor issue?
And that’s not even mentioning all the other types of free community labor in the games industry. How many game companies pay their forum moderators? Is anyone paying wiki editors, walkthrough writers,
The more cynical part of me thinks that the real problem is that Ubisoft simply messed up the pitch. They shouldn’t have had a rich celebrity give a 5-min pitch for his hot startup. They shouldn’t have had any money involved at all. If they had found the right way to pitch this as “we want to put your fanart in the game!” instead of “we will pay you pennies to make our game”, then this thread probably wouldn’t exist.
Maybe I’m just wondering “Why now?” It’s been more than 8 years since Valve launched the TF2 community workshop.