Fans of Ubisoft’s upcoming action-adventure game “Beyond Good & Evil 2” have made over 11,000 contributions to its art and music thanks to the publisher’s partnership with creative collaboration platform HitRecord.
HitRecord was co-founded by actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who appeared on-stage to announce the partnership during Ubisoft’s E3 2018 press conference. “[HitRecord] is a place where people all over the world work together on short films or music or art — all kinds of projects,” he said. “This is the first time we’re making something that’s going to go into a video game.”
The news caused immediate backlash in the gaming community, as many people noted Gordon-Levitt didn’t mention compensation for artists who create content for the game. They felt it was unfair to ask fans to work “on spec.” Gordon-Levitt later said on Twitter the “script got trimmed” and assured the community it would be paid for accepted contributions.
“It’s hugely important to me that @hitrecord pays artists fairly,” he said. “Since 2010 we’ve paid community almost $3 million.”
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Since HitRecord is only working on certain elements of the full game, however, its usual profit sharing doesn’t apply, it said in a post on its support site. “Instead, HitRecord has set aside the community payment sum of $50,000 as an item in our budget,” it said. “That amount will be spread across all the finished songs and visual assets that we deliver to Ubisoft Montpellier for inclusion in the game.”
“Beyond Good & Evil 2’s” developers highlighted two fan-contributed songs during Wednesday’s livestream. The first is a pirate shanty called “40 Lashes.” Ubisoft chose it because it really represents the game world, said audio director Alexandre Carlotti. “It expressed the oppression and the slavery that hybrids met in that world,” he said. “It really served the content of our game.”
The second song, “Cheeky Little Monkeys,” is a more light-hearted, Reggae-influenced tune. Carlotti said he particularly liked how it includes verses in different languages like French, Spanish, and Tagalog. Both songs were potentially make their way into “Beyond Good & Evil 2’s” pirate radio stations.
“Beyond Good & Evil 2” doesn’t have a release window or target platforms yet. Ubisoft said it will show a full demo of the game that includes the HitRecord assets on Dec. 10 during its next livestream.