Rogier Smit’s relationship with video games goes back to when he was a child who played the range of relatively simplistic yet satisfying consoles that were out at the time, the sort that have seen a resurgence in popularity recently with the explosion of retro gaming.
The mid 1990s saw the release of PS1 which, for Rogier, changed the perception of gaming in the wider world.
“The smart thing they did back then was taking gaming out of the kid’s market. It started going from the more obscure to something that was really mainstream,” says Rogier, “So I said to myself there’s an opportunity here, let’s jump on the bandwagon and start developing games.”
He co-founded Playlogic Entertainment Inc. and oversaw more than 40 titles published across various platforms and at their peak had nearly 400 employees at their publishing headquarter and internal development studio. They went public on NASDAQ in summier of 2005 and continued to publish on all major platforms until 2010.
But, as with any larger studio, dozens of released titles usually means a host of unreleased concepts and games.
“So many developers out there who have created all kinds of content - be it code, artwork, or even just the intellectual property rights to a name - have had it cancelled or not released for a sundry of reasons that were balie at that particular time.
“For example, the timing wasn’t right, the market changed, a new platform came out. Projects can get cancelled for hundreds of reasons, but I know from my own experience and having been in the developer’s seat how much time, effort, and passion has gone into creating whatever they were creating.”
Rogier makes the point that developing a game is a massive undertaking; a large amount of elements need to come together at the right time or it won’t work.
“From our own catalogue there are at least 200 that we didn’t publish, whether it be a demo, a title or a game design/prototype. It could be any type of content or idea people have, whether an elaborate 300 page document or a simple powerpoint presentation.”
“These are elements that people have put thousands of hours of thought and effort into that is just sitting there - it’s not coming out, it’s not been published.”
He plans to take some of these parts and list them on LEXIT, wherein it can be described and reviewed by interested parties and then possibly used for their own projects. The power of an online marketplace means that developers can find connections with interested buyers who they never would have met otherwise.
“It’s so many man hours and people would only be doing it if they were absolutely passionate about it. The LEXIT platform gives them the opportunity for recognition, a rebirth of their hard work and potential to even make money out of it - I think it’s fantastic, I can’t wait! I have a long list of people and companies I can reach out to today and they will say ‘Are you serious? Sign me up!’
“There are tens of thousands of developers that have so many interesting things with merit and value. With LEXIT they can get the work they’ve done out there and gain recognition, get it known and cash in on it. It’s like a renaissance of content - I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for a lot of people.”