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Double Fine Productions now that Psychonauts 2 is about to launch is looking to develop a completely new game, according to CEO Tim Schafer speaking with GamesIndustry in an interview.
The developer since Psychonauts 2 was announced in 2015 and has since released remasters of Day of the Tentacle and Full Throttle.
“All of this has been in some ways looking back on comfortable things,” Schafer said. “And it’s been rewarding. I really enjoyed doing those remasters, I loved making an adventure game, and I loved making Psychonauts 2.
“But I think the team and I are really excited about doing something completely new that will be completely surprising to people.”
Schafer added a lot of the team working on Psychonauts 2 had also developed the first game.
“We had a lot of the same people on the first [Psychonauts] on the second game because there’s this mutual loyalty and trust on our team,” he said. “I think we’ve always maintained that and been very transparent through all the ups and downs over the years. So I feel like really focusing on the team is in some ways the final product of the company, and the games are a by-product of that team relationship being healthy and going well.”
Microsoft announced at E3 2019 it had acquired Double Fine Productions and was now part of Xbox Game Studios. Schafer said the type of games they make makes more sense under Microsoft’s business model with Xbox Game Pass.
“I think the value proposition now is what we can contribute to the Game Pass subscription service,” Schafer said. “I think everything is moving in some form or another to subscriptions. That’s just a relationship with players which I think is really great for Double Fine, where we want to do something new and original and surprising, which means there might be a higher barrier of entry for players who don’t know what this is.
“And by lowering that barrier financially where it’s not a matter of buying one $70 game over another and it’s more about the time it takes to download them because they’re all up there on Game Pass, I think that’s a huge way for Double Fine games to find their audiences faster.”
Schafer added, “We’ve been given so much creative freedom now. Nobody has probed Psychonauts to second guess our decisions or anything like that. We’ve been trusted to handle the creative side completely, but we can opt-in to all these resources, like having it tested for accessibility and mental health checks.
“We had the resources but were left creatively to our own devices. And that’s been great, and Microsoft has lived up to their word as far as what they said before the acquisition.”
Psychonauts 2 will launch for the Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on August 25. It will also be available on Xbox Game Pass on day one.
A life-long and avid gamer, William D’Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let’s Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at [email protected] or on Twitter @TrunksWD.