Monkey Island co-creator Ron Gilbert appears to have taken down his long-running blog today, after posting that he doesn’t feel he can share news about the upcoming Return To Monkey Island online anymore. While no longer there to view, VGC managed to capture Gilbert’s post on grumpygamer.com before the site became unavailable. You can see the new art style for yourself in the trailer below.
“I’m shutting down comments. People are just being mean and I’m having to delete personal attack comments,” Gilbert said. “It’s an amazing game and everyone on the team is very proud of it. Play it or don’t play it but don’t ruin it for everyone else. I won’t be posting anymore about the game. The joy of sharing has been driven from me.”
The wave of negativity towards Return To Monkey Island came after Tuesday’s Nintendo Direct broadcast showed more footage, with a closer look at how familiar characters such as Guybrush Threepwood, LeChuck and Elaine Marley will appear. It’s only been a few months since Return To Monkey Island was announced, but Gilbert felt it necessary to publish a post on his blog last month to say he’ll make the game the way he wants to.
I can see why Gilbert, along with other Return To Monkey Island devs and cast, are being defensive about criticism of the game’s new art style. They’re the ones making it, and putting all their time and energy into it. Art designer Rex Crowle is well established in the industry thanks to Knights And Bikes, and Tearaway, too, so you’d think people might be more receptive. It’s not even the first Monkey Island game to be criticised for a change in visual style. One of The Curse Of Monkey Island’s project leaders, Jonathan Ackley, tweeted in response to critics of the newest third game in the series:
Being criticized for changing the art style in a Monkey Island sequel is a time-honored tradition. Trust me. I should know.— Jonathan Ackley (@ackley_jonathan) June 28, 2022
Return To Monkey Island is out sometime in 2022. Maybe wait and see how it turns out, me hearties?