Middle-ware and open source code are commonly remixed into new games. But inevitably, one day in the future, game developers will also remix artwork, sprite sheets, 3D models, and other content into new games as well.
I have already experienced this future in a small way; however I had a unique situation. I crafted a digital collectible card game called Grid Legion. For each card image that I needed –images like knights, dragons, wizards, and other common fantasy elements- I found a painting being shared on the DeviantArt.com web community.
I non-exclusively licensed over 150 pieces of portfolio artwork from over 50 artists around the world. This allowed me (a broke indie developer) to side step a major production cost and produce an initial $3 market release of Grid Legion.
Selling a remixed game on store shelves is a bad idea because its mismatched look would reduce sales. On the other hand selling a remixed game as a $3 download is a great idea. So the need for remix-able content is as new as our ability to monetize games online.
One day when I was faced with the need to find a painting to represent a Tsunami card. I decided to use the popular Japanese painting; The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Katsushika Hokusai (1830).
With Katsushika Hokusai being dead for over 150 years the painting was in the public domain, free for me to remix. While I was incorporating The Great Wave into Grid Legion I stumbled across a thought.
I realized that one day, generations of life from now, everything digital that we make today will be –like Hokusai’s Great Wave- free from ownership, free for the game developers of tomorrow to remix.
The appearance of remix-able content is inevitable. The need for it is new.
Here's a video of the artwork that I licensed and remixed into my game, Grid Legion - Deviant Remix: