What just happened? Paradox Interactive, known for publishing games like Europa Universalis and Crusader Kings, is launching a new indie publishing program called Unbound which will allow fans to create and monetize games set in the Vampire: The Masquerade universe.
Video game publisher Paradox Interactive just announced a program that allows fans to develop, publish, and profit from video games set in their World of Darkness universe.
Paradox acquired the rights to World of Darkness in 2015 when it purchased White Wolf Publishing and all of its intellectual property. It started as a series of tabletop role-playing games with the most well-known being Vampire: The Masquerade. These were eventually adapted into other media including a line of video games.
The Unbound program was created following the success of Vampire Jam, a game jam with over 80 submissions - six of which will launch under the program.
There are some limitations to what developers are allowed to do, however. Unbound games aren't allowed to contain "Vampire: The Masquerade" or "World of Darkness" in the title. The games also have to be first submitted to Paradox for review, and they can only be sold on Itch.io. In addition, Paradox will receive a 33 percent cut on the net revenues earned from the games.
However, developers can earn additional money through donations on Patreon or by posting content on platforms like YouTube or Twitch. They are also entitled to commercialize any original game assets, like soundtracks or game art, as they see fit without paying Paradox any fees.
It's refreshing to see a video game company allow and encourage fans to create content based on its IP. This is in stark contrast with corporations such as Nintendo which is known to take legal action against anyone as much as modding their games.