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posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday May 16, @11:09AM   Printer-friendly
from the stop-monkeying-around dept.

Submitted via IRC for SoyCow0245

The Monkey Island is probably one of the most important landmarks in gaming history. For the millions who played it, it not only confirmed that games could become an artform, but also that they could be deeply, outrageously funny.

Over the course of five games, the Monkey Island series tells the tale of the endearingly hapless Guybrush Threepwood, and his quest to become the most feared pirate in the Caribbean.

[...] Monkey Island was just one of many iconic adventure games that came out of LucasArts. Its stablemates include the beloved Sam and Max series, Grim Fandango, and Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle

When Disney acquired LucasArts parent LucasFilm in 2012, it signified the end of an era. Disney's never really been that interested in games, and in 2016 the company announced that it would cease in-house production entirely, and transition to an IP licensing model, leaving the future of the Monkey Island series in doubt.

In 2016, Monkey Island co-founder Ron Gilbert asked Disney on Twitter for the chance to buy the Monkey Island and "Mansion Mansion [sic]" IPs, adding he'll "pay real actual money for them."

So far, Disney has remained tight-lipped, but fans have launched a petition begging the company to agree to Gilbert's request.

Although the petition is over a year old, it's picked up momentum in recent months, and in total has attracted over 12,000 signatures in total. This puts it within a hair's width of its 15,000 signature goal.

Source: https://thenextweb.com/gaming/2018/05/15/monkey-island-fans-are-begging-disney-to-sell-the-rights-back-to-its-creator/


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  • (Score: 2) by bootsy on Wednesday May 16, @12:39PM (3 children)

    by bootsy (3440) on Wednesday May 16, @12:39PM (#680367)

    Ron gets asked this a lot. He posts on his own blog

    https://grumpygamer.com/ [grumpygamer.com]

    as well as the Thimbleweed Park Forum https://forums.thimbleweedpark.com/ [thimbleweedpark.com] ( his last game and well worth playing ).

    I've just re-completed Curse of Monkey Island this time playing it with my Point and Click loving teenage daughter. This game is very good but it wasn't written by Ron, he did the first two as well as Maniac Mansion and input into the various other games that used the SCUMM engine as it evolved.

    I won't spoil the ending of Monkey Island 2 in case you haven't played it but is fair to say that the third game, Curse of Monkey Island, doesn't follow on at all.
    Many people would love to see a Monkey Island 3a but so many years have passed so what would it look like?

    Thimbleweed Park was retro modern - by that I mean it had chunky bitmap graphics but they could scale far better than the old 8 bit and 16 bit machines. A critism of Thimbleweed Park was that people would have preferred the style of graphics in Monkey Island 2 with nice back drops and more detailed pixel artwork but that would have broken from the Zak McKracken/Maniac Mansion style they were going for. Curse of Monkey Island had beautiful back drops but the main character of Guybrush was done in a clunky style. The 4th part used the Grim Fandango engine and was 3Dish. How should a Monkey Island 3a even look? Would people really buy it.

    Remember the LucasArts games are well loved but they were soundly beaten in sales by Sierra. Even if Ron had the rights would anyone actually buy it outside of a small core of fans, myself included.

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Wednesday May 16, @03:22PM (2 children)

    by Grishnakh (2831) on Wednesday May 16, @03:22PM (#680411)

    They won't know until they try. Realistically, they probably won't make mega-millions, but if these guys are bored, it could be fun for them and generate some respectable income.

    Also, one big difference these days is that the fans are mostly much older, and have plenty of disposable income to spend on this stuff, unlike when they were teenagers at the time these games were new. We see this same dynamic with classic rock bands: they're all going out and touring, if they still can (sometimes having to find replacement band members), because their fans in the 70s-80s who were broke teenagers are now in their 40s-60s and have plenty of cash to spend on overpriced tickets and desperately want to see their favorite bands on stage while they're both (the bands and the fans) still in good enough health to do so. The recent deaths of some prominent artists from the time, like Tom Petty, make this reality even more stark: see them while you still can.

    • (Score: 2) by FakeBeldin on Wednesday May 16, @10:59PM (1 child)

      by FakeBeldin (3360) on Wednesday May 16, @10:59PM (#680538) Journal

      Let's say you want to sell the game for about 40 € (or other currency). With 15k fans, the income for the game would be 600k. But let's double that - not everyone who'd buy the game would sign the petition. So, you're looking at 1.2 million. For that, you'd have to do *everything*. It's not just development, it's all overhead included. That's not a lot of money.

      Case in point: Double Fine's kickstarter (3.3 million from the KS, maybe more from other sources) for what eventually turned out to be Broken Age - which according to some reviewer was okay but not a classic. And that's not what you'd want, as someone who signs that petition.

      While there is no secret recipe that will guarantee that a piece of entertainment (game, movie, tv show, ...) will be great, there are quite a few ingredients that will ensure it won't. One of the big pitfalls is attempting to recreate something for nostalgic reasons. Doing that while underbudgetted.... not a recipe for success.

      • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Thursday May 17, @01:35PM

        by Grishnakh (2831) on Thursday May 17, @01:35PM (#680707)

        How many developers are we talking about here though? If it were a single-man project and took a few months, $1M is a great return for that effort. This isn't some modern, cutting-edge game here, this is retro stuff, so theoretically it shouldn't be that hard to do with today's technology. Heck, just make it use the SCUMMVM engine like the old ones; the main thing they'd have to do is the artwork and story, and the artwork should be easier with today's tools.

        This is all just hand-waving of course. But my point here is that fans would probably be happy to have something that's basically another one of the old games, not some fancy new game made with all the latest new game technologies. There's people these days making actual NES games, and it doesn't take some big team of developers, they're each made by one guy.