Art marketplace Redbubble is debuting a pilot program this week that sees select game developers working with the company to curate fan art on branded Redbubble hubs for their games -- and collecting a cut of the proceeds.
While Redbubble is billing this as an easy way for small-scale devs to dabble in merchandising without having to contract artists and launch their own storefronts, it's also a notable effort by an open marketplace to cut creators in on sales of fan-created goods based on their work.
In recent years online marketplaces like Etsy, Redbubble and Threadless have afforded artists an easy way to sell their work, and in the process they've grown rife with fan art based on popular video games. The creators of those games rarely see a cut of that business, and Redbubble's new Fan Art initiative seems poised to change that.
The program currently encompasses Redbubble collections for indie games like Brace Yourself Games' Crypt of the Necrodancer (pictured) Red Hook Studios' Darkest Dungeon, 17-Bit's Galak-Z and League of Geeks' Armello.
"Artists were already creating Armello fan art, so to direct it where it can be bought by our fans, get cut in on that profit and be able to put our stamp of approval on our favorite designs in phenomenal," stated League of Geek's Trent Kusters in a press release announcing the Fan Art venture, which is still in a "pilot" stage -- though Redbubble claims it wants to expand the program later this year.