Tim Schafer On Microsoft Acquisition And The Future Of Double Tremendous
Throughout this yr’s E3, it was introduced that Microsoft is buying Double Tremendous Productions (creators of Damaged Age, Grim Fandango) to hitch Xbox Recreation Studios.
What does this acquisition imply for Double Tremendous, a studio that’s famously impartial? Will the studio’s signature, distinctive really feel be rebranded? With Double Tremendous’s roster of splendidly bizarre titles, it is a affordable concern, however Double Tremendous CEO and President Tim Schafer has been fast to qualm these fears (he even did so instantly whereas on stage at Microsoft’s press convention). We sat down with him at E3 to raised perceive this transition.
“We weren’t actually trying to get acquired, however we had been speaking about different issues and [Microsoft] talked about they had been doing this with different corporations and people different corporations look like they’ve very robust identities, like Ninja Idea,” Schafer says. “These aren’t corporations that want to generate profits on Microsoft merchandise. We requested [Microsoft] why they had been trying to purchase corporations, and so they talked about creating numerous, large ranging content material for Recreation Move.”
At first, although, Schafer had considerations about his studio’s id shifting or that this transfer would end in much less inventive freedom.
“I used to be very involved about our tradition and id,” Schafer says. “They defined the brand new manner they’re doing these acquisitions with unplugged studios that aren’t built-in into Microsoft. They’re left alone, they do their very own factor and keep impartial, however are nicely funded. It seems like deal.”
Psychonauts 2 continues to be releasing on all its promised platforms (PS4, Xbox One, PC) and Schafer introduced up within the video beneath that backer rewards on Fig, in addition to different commitments the group made, might be fulfilled.
It helps that Microsoft and Double Tremendous have a protracted historical past of working collectively by means of partnerships on video games like Kinect Celebration and Iron Brigade, so a longer-term deal is not utterly out of the blue. It provides Double Tremendous extra monetary safety to proceed its quirky signature video games.
“I feel it is good for us, as a result of we will simply deal with doing our impressed bizarre video games, and never fear about how we will get our subsequent deal. We aren’t chasing down our subsequent funding and eager about what number of extra months of funding we’ve got on a regular basis.”
When requested if Double Tremendous would ever let different groups inside Microsoft work on one in every of their IPs, Schafer mentioned whereas it would not “instantly make sense to have anybody else do them,” it will nonetheless be a “case by case” choice.
“If somebody’s like, ‘I grew up taking part in Center Supervisor of Justice and I actually wish to put my complete growth group behind that,’ I imply, we’d discuss to them, nevertheless it’s it is most likely extra seemingly that we’d do our personal [IPs].”
Schafer spoke briefly about Starbreeze too, the corporate that was previously publishing Psychonauts 2. Following the launch of the poorly obtained Overkill’s The Strolling Useless and ensuing monetary instability, nonetheless, it is turn into obvious that Starbreeze could not final for much longer. Schafer displays that the studio’s relationship with Starbreeze was constructive, however that the Microsoft acquisition guarantees extra stability and safety.
“Starbreeze had some challenges,” Schafer says. “That they had all the time lived as much as their dedication to us. They all the time paid their invoices. They by no means, , they weren’t getting flaky with us. But it surely wasn’t 100% certain that there can be sufficient of them at the moment there to have the ability to help the sport the way in which that Microsoft can. [The acquisition] makes certain that the sport is totally polished, and that we do not reduce ranges out of it.”