Double Fine Schafing At The Bit To Do Psychonauts 2

By Alec Meer on February 7th, 2012 at 9:30 am.

His milk *is* delicious

Update: Minecraft-master Markus ‘Notch’ Persson has been publicly trying to get Tim Schafer’s attention today, saying “Let’s make Psychonauts 2 happen” and confirming to us that he’s serious. Who knows what, if anything, will come of this – but how exciting, eh?

Ah, the fine art of reporting on non-events: not news as such, but they make us go all misty-eyed and slightly sad. In this case, it’s Double Fine’s Tim Schafer revealing that he would gladly make another Psychonauts game, but no-one will give the studio the money they need for it. Aaaaaaaaaaaargh!

“I would love to do Psychonauts 2, he told Digital Spy. “I’ve actually pitched that to publishers several times and no-one has taken the bait so far… I’d have to convince someone to just give me a few million dollars. That’s all.”

OK gang, I’m going to leave this hat on the ground, and whatever you can spare…

I know Psychonauts was far more of a cult hit than a commercial one, but even so I’m amazed, given the fanbase and awareness it’s built up over the years, that some publisher doesn’t see it as a surefire way to make at least some money. I guess it’s not simply a matter of being commercially viable, but that the margins aren’t deemed to be colossal enough in this more cautious financial age.

Perhaps, one day, there’ll be a firm willing to take a chance – or Double Fine themselves can have enough money in the bank to self-publish it. Naive of me? Oh, very probably. I JUST LIKE TO DREAM.

Oh, and Schafer’s reason for considering a sequel – something Double Fine’s never done before – is that the studio is now big enough to work on multiple games simultaneously. Until fairly recently, “if I did a sequel to any of the games I had before, it would have prevented one of the [new games]… if I did a sequel to Full Throttle there wouldn’t have been Grim Fandango, and so on and so on down the line.” Now, the bigger team “opens up a lot of possibilities.” Oooh! Tell you what, I’d love to see a more fleshed out and varied follow-up to Costume Quest: that was really onto something, despite being such a slight affair.

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61 Comments »

  1. Sfitz says:

    So, Kickstarter project?

    • Rikard Peterson says:

      I’d be on board for that.

    • bateleur says:

      You joke, but I don’t see why that couldn’t work if the reward was a downloadable copy of the game. We think of Kickstarter as only being good for 4-5 figure sums, but it doesn’t have to be that way…

    • Suits says:

      Need more Double Fine games for the PC to throw my money at =|

    • zaphod42 says:

      TAKE MY MONEY. TAKE IT ALL.

  2. coldvvvave says:

    I didn’t like Psychonauts.

    • Alec Meer says:

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Baboonanza says:

      That’s ok.

    • Xocrates says:

      I didn’t particularly enjoy psychonauts either, but I would still buy a sequel.

    • Tuco says:

      I loved it, so you’re probably wrong.

    • coldvvvave says:

      Some things just need to be said.

      Also, testing in case I was banned.

      EDIT: I wasn’t, not yet.

    • Suits says:

      Shafer still loves you.. maybe.

    • TheTourist314 says:

      Such a hearty laugh I had from Alec’s response.

    • zaphod42 says:

      I don’t like barbie’s horse adventure, but you don’t see me going around posting on the barbie’s horse adventure forums telling people that like it that its bad or that I don’t like it or telling the developers that its a bad game because it doesn’t appeal to ME…

      Sorry, I’ve been on the TOR forums lately and people QQ like no tomorrow. Whiners expect every little thing to cater to them…

      Lots of us loved the crap out of psychonauts. I could see if it wasn’t your thing, the surrounding aesthetic and general “coolness” of the concept was better than the overall gameplay; so-so platforming controls.

    • PopeJamal says:

      Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize this was the “barbie’s horse adventure forums”. My mistake.

      I guess the “Opinion, Away!” button really means [Take your] Opinion[s], Away [from here]!

    • Grygus says:

      You’d probably have gotten a better response if you’d have posted a reasoned opinion, pointing out whatever flaws in the game turned you off, and ideally giving examples of games that did it better, so that people who shared your opinion might hear of games that would appeal to them. Your post suggests that merely whether you like it is worth discussing, a position with which you might expect most will disagree.

  3. Snids says:

    If not a full blown sequel, then at least a meat circus based expansion pack? Timed meat circus challenge runs. Maybe split screen meat circus races. It’d be amazing.

    • Xocrates says:

      From all the awesome levels to make an expansion based of, you choose the one everyone hates?

    • Pemptus says:

      @Xocrates
      You must be the new guy. Welcome to the internet!

    • Xocrates says:

      @pemtus The fact I’m not new on the internet is why I’m asking. I’m certain there are people who would seriously want that.

    • Prime says:

      @Xocrates – I know it’s sometimes difficult to tell on the internet but Snids isn’t being serious. He’s making what in a pub we might call a “joke”.

    • StranaMente says:

      I say this is a clear case of Poe’s Law! Or him being highly masochistic. Dunno…

    • Snids says:

      Sorry, I missed all this. I was busy playing QWOP.

  4. Turin Turambar says:

    Maybe if they remake it as a modern shooter…

  5. Cirius says:

    Ok, I’ll chip in a fiver. If that’s what it’ll take. Now get to work.

  6. piphil says:

    I very much enjoyed Psychonauts. I just wasn’t very good at it. If the platforming could be tweaked to make it slightly more forgiving…?

  7. Milkman says:

    You know, if they got funding and produced another Psychonauts, I would probably buy it.

  8. Staggy says:

    **throws wallet at screen**

  9. Gap Gen says:

    I think they should make another weirder game. Part of the joy of Psychonauts was that it was unique and original. Make an RTS about a little girl who can talk to sandwiches or something, and each level you enter a different sandwich-filling-based level to retrieve clues about your missing netball team.

    • Yor Fizzlebeef says:

      You know, I think Schafer is talented enough to be able to put an interesting spin to that idea.

    • Reynoldio says:

      I want this game!

  10. lhzr says:

    from http://www.doublefine.com/about/

    “Are you guys making a sequel to Psychonauts or Brütal Legend?

    Not right now, but we’d love to someday. If anyone out there has a few million dollars burning a hole in their pocket, and would like to help us make an excellent sequel, please let us know! ”

    that’s been there since 2007, or at least that’s the oldest reference google can find. just sayin’, ahem.
    /hides

  11. Lars Westergren says:

    I liked the artwork of Costume Quest, and exploring the world. But combat reminded me why I don’t like JRPGs: SO GRINDY!

    Kickstarter is a neat idea, but according to Wikipedia the most successful project so far was just short of $1M. Maybe they should try though, rabid fans of niche products can do neat things. My favourite web comic Order of the Stick has raised almost 10 times the initial goal for their current drive. They have passed $500 000 after half the time has passed, and will probably be one of the top 5 projects ever on Kickstarter.
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/599092525/the-order-of-the-stick-reprint-drive

  12. fuggles says:

    What is the position with Brutal Legend? Are there any publisher issues or is it ever going to come to PC?

    • Jackablade says:

      I believe it’s been written off as too expensive because they’d need to relicense all the music again or some such. Given the console release didn’t exactly set the world on fire, sales-wise it’s probably not an entirely unreasonable decision, unfortunate though it might be.

  13. mrwonko says:

    Ah, Psychonauts. Probably my favorite game.

    Now, raising 10,000$ through kickstarter or something is one thing, but how do you get a couple of millions? Hope it’ll happen, I’d happily pay up front for another Psychonauts.

    • MasterDex says:

      How do you get a couple of million? Be Tim Schaffer, of course! Seriously, if Double Fine were to start up a Kickstarter project and let the games media know about it, they could be well on their way to reaping the benefits of being Double Fine.

  14. jezcentral says:

    I’m not sure how you’d do one without ruining the ending of the first one. What the Hell, I’ll still buy it.

    I remember him talking about wanting to do a Glottis/Hoagie Road Movie game. I’d like that too, please Mr Schafer. Just write that one your to-do list, would you kindly?

    • Ross Angus says:

      I wouldn’t know anything about the ending of the first game, having failed to complete that curving jump in the meat circus, over a fire pit, with my dad throwing fireballs at me.

    • MonkeyMonster says:

      a hi-res pack for DotT?

    • Jackablade says:

      I can’t see any reason why they couldn’t continue straight on from the ending of Psychonauts. It’s set up for a sequel.

    • fuggles says:

      @Ross Angus – why don’t you try playing it somewhere where your dad can’t distract you?

    • jumblesale says:

      @fuggles

      Bravo.

    • jezcentral says:

      I also have to say that Sasha Nein needs to be in another game. Badly. He is possibly the coolest character ever to appear in a game.

  15. MonkeyMonster says:

    Well now I know what to do with a chunk of money when I win the lottery!

  16. povu says:

    They recently started posting updates to Psychonauts on Steam, dealing with some issues and releasing a Mac port. And they’re planning on releasing another patch I think.

    Pretty awesome for a 6 year old PC game that they have not been doing anything with for years.

  17. Quasar says:

    This article is about things that I want.

    Also, am I the only one that didn’t find the meat circus all that bad? Sure, it was hard, but I don’t remember it being that much harder than other games…

    • Strange_guy says:

      Yeah, it wasn’t a cakewalk but as final levels for games go it wasn’t particularly nasty, yet it constantly gets brought up. Anyway I’d love to see a new psychonauts. I’d like to see gameplay improvements and really more of the same elsewhere (and by that I mean with the same breadth of variety as well).

  18. samfergo says:

  19. frenz0rz says:

    Sacre Bleu! Someone give this man some money.

  20. jumblesale says:

    It’s ok, Notch has promised to fund it!

  21. The Sombrero Kid says:

    Saw this on twitter, it’s amazing pr for mojang, even if it doesn’t happen.

  22. Unaco says:

    Didn’t the original already kill one publisher, and drive many a talented developer to throw themselves from the Golden Gate Bridge? They had that whole ‘Suicide fortnight’ thing or whatever. Oh well.

    • kastanok says:

      These rumours are all true. However, you appear to have forgotten these tragedies occurred to other people because they had missed the chance to be involved with Psychonauts.

  23. Lemming says:

    I said it in the other Psy thread but just incase Tim is reading this one instead:

    RELEASE PSYCHONAUTS ON PSN…DO YOU LIKE FREE MONEY??? IF NOT, WHY NOT?! *cough* *hack* Thankou…

  24. Bluerps says:

    I’ve actually bought Psychonauts two times, the first time boxed and the second time, much later, on Steam. I just figured that it is great enough game to be owned twice.

    • peda says:

      Ditto. If PS2 classics become compatible with the Vita (as PSOne classics soon will be), then this will be my third purchase of the game :D

  25. DocSeuss says:

    “that some publisher doesn’t see it as a surefire way to make at least some money.”

    This is not how publishers think. They just want to maximize profits. This is why mid-range games are apparently dying.

    They don’t think “money’s good!” they think “meh, that’s not enough money for me!”