One of the more surprising pieces of news at today's Ubisoft E3 2018 press conference is how Beyond Good and Evil 2 will be accepting submissions from fans for art, music, and other creative creations through Joseph Gordon-Levitt's HitRecord platform. And yes, creators will be compensated for their work, but that's not as simple as it sounds.
HitRecord is a creative collaboration platform where makers— whether they're artists, filmmakers, musicians, writers, or anything else—work together and submit creations for publication. The Hit Record staff curates works submitted through the site. This is presumably how submissions for creative works that want to be featured in Beyond Good and Evil 2 will work as well.
On stage at Ubisoft's E3 2018 press conference the team for Beyond Good and Evil 2 said that for one of the game's main cities art and music will be regular encounters. And Ubisoft wants art and music made by fans to be featured in the game.
Artists who will put time and effort into producing art for a major video game release don't expect to produce featured artwork for free, as they shouldn't. And in a statement to USgamer Ubisoft confirmed that, "Yes, contributors will be compensated, just like other HITRECORD projects."
But HitRecord announced that the compensation for artists and talent will come out of a pool of $50,000. "Typically, HITRECORD splits all the profits of a production with the community 50/50—50% of the profits go to the Contributing Artists and the other 50% go to HITRECORD.org LLC."
However, the work being done for Beyond Good and Evil 2 is only a part or fraction of the whole product. So instead, "HITRECORD has set aside the community payment sum of $50,000 as an item in our budget." Compensation to artists and contributors will come out of that budget says HitRecord.
The company says that it will earmark additional money if the scope of the project expands. Normally for HitRecord projects, successful works picked by HitRecord staff compensate each collaborator based on the judgement of the HitRecord staff. Collaborators have a limited time to make a case for how much they deserve for their part of the complete project, but payment ultimately is up to HitRecord based on feedback from the community and creators.
Ultimately it does seem as though HitRecord and Ubisoft will pay contributors who's submitted works for Beyond Good and Evil 2 are accepted. HitRecord is also a proven payer to creatives (though the amount of that compensation varies drastically from market rates). But that budget is limited to $50,000 initially and it's important to see how that fund is allocated for creators and work and how they compare to works produced at market rates.
For more on today's Ubisoft E3 press conference check out our full E3 2018 guide for the latest news and updates from the week.