Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs Legion was easily one of the highlights of E3 2019. Ahead of its March 2020 release, the developers are partnering up once more with actor Joseph Gordon Levitt’s HitRecord studio to source for user-generated content, more specifically, music for the open-world title.
Similarly to how HitRecord is helping with Beyond Good and Evil 2, the company is tasking the community with creating 10 songs for Watch Dogs Legion. These songs would be playing on radio stations in-game, as well as throughout your time in virtual London.
Be it rock, hip hop, electronica, metal, or punk, they all fit under the umbrella of musical genres that HitRecord is seeking, and if they are related to London somehow, all the better for Ubisoft.
Such content is likely to be made collaboratively, as the community can work off each other’s foundations and create some truly unique content, the possibilities are seemingly endless.
At $2,000 per song, the payout will be split among all the contributors, and creators will have their names included in the credits of Watch Dogs Legion.
All creations will be evaluated by HitRecord, and they will be ensuring that all credit is due to whoever contributed. The split in payment will also be decided by HitRecord. Such information will then be provided on its site under a “Payment Proposal” so that there is transparency.
The public will then be able to comment on the Payment Proposal, following which HitRecord will make a final decision and the first wave of payments will be made in January 2020, two months before Watch Dogs Legion launches.
However, the partnership is not without its critics. Game developer/designer Mike Bithell of Thomas Was Alone fame has been speaking up against it. He takes issue with the idea of “spec work,” which is essentially work done without payment in hopes of future returns, for Watch Dogs Legion.
This sucks. Pay people for their labour. Stop exploiting fans and hobbyists, while devaluing the work of those with the gall to actually expect consistent payment for work done. Do better Ubi, we're counting on you. #nospechttps://t.co/4GZ1tiII0O
— Mike Bithell (@mikeBithell) July 13, 2019
Disgusting. Joseph Gordon-Levitt has a union contract yet he's peddling spec work for a billion dollar company. The game industry exploits our passion to pay unlivable wages, this is the next logical step. Soliciting unpaid labor for a product that will make millions. #NoSpec pic.twitter.com/U2hKS69Hot
— GWU Los Angeles (@GWU_LosAngeles) July 13, 2019
Previously, Gordon-Levitt has responded to similar claims via a Medium post, saying that “honestly, this concern was sorta painful to hear, it’s not at all how I think of our community’s creative process. I do think that part of this disconnect is simple misinformation.”