2019 has been an important year for Double Fine Productions, since it joined the ranks of Xbox Game Studios after Microsoft acquired it. On top of that, the company will experience another important change, since Greg Rice, its distribution manager, will leave his post.
It was through his Twitter account that Rice announced Friday that he will leave the company. In his tweet he mentioned that working at Double Fine was a dream come true and acknowledged that he is proud of everything the study has achieved. He is also happy with the fact that the company is in a good position thanks to Microsoft support.
Here’s something I never thought I’d say, yesterday was my last day at Double Fine. It’s been a dream come true working with the world’s greatest human Tim Schafer and the crew of incredibly talented, caring, wonderful people he’s assembled at Double Fine for the last decade.
I’m so proud of all the amazing things we’ve accomplished and really really sad to leave, but am comforted to be leaving them in a great spot with Psychonauts 2 looking amazing and the Microsoft sale ensuring many many more of the insanely creative games you’ve come to expect.
It’s time I set off on some new adventures. I’ve got something really cool lined up, still in games, and am excited about the future. But for now, I’m going to enjoy these final moments with some of my best friends of all time and try not to dissolve into a puddle.
But what’s next for Rice? On the social network, he commented that it was time to go out and undertake new adventures and that he is preparing “really great” things. Although he did not give many more details, it is a fact that he will remain in the video game industry.
That Rice will look for something away from Double Fine is not entirely a surprise. After all, the reality seems to be that Double Fine Presents, the company’s distribution branch, is about to disappear, since its existence is redundant now that Double Fine is part of Xbox Game Studios. So, in this scenario it makes sense to look for another place to take advantage of their talents.
In other news, at E3 2019, Microsoft announced the incorporation of Double Fine into Xbox Game Studios. The movement was a surprise to many, as some think it will affect the way the studio operates. However, Double Fine leader Tim Schafer explained that it will be a benefit, as they can continue to make their kind of games with the benefits of Microsoft financing.
In an interview with Game Informer, Schafer talked about the alliance with Microsoft, how it came about and how it will help them in their projects. According to the creative, they had no intention of being acquired, but after hearing the plans that the great company had with other studios, such as Ninja Theory, the talk took that direction.
These are not companies that seek to make money with Microsoft products. We asked [Microsoft] why they were looking to acquire companies and they talked about creating diverse and broad content for Game Pass.
Despite this, the creative was concerned about the loss of culture and identity that being part of Microsoft could lead to. However, to the relief of Schafer and Double Fine Productions, Microsoft explained that the studios retain their address, their independence, with the only difference that they remain with sufficient funding.
I think it’s perfect for us, because we can concentrate on making our strange games and not worry about how we are going to get our next deal. We are no longer pursuing our next financing and thinking about how many more months of financing we have.
Tim Schafer’s statements are consistent with those of Matt Booty, head of Xbox Game Studios, as he recently assured that Microsoft studios are free enough to make their plans and that it is Microsoft that adapts to each of them, and even opened the possibility of remastering past games of Double Fine Productions, as well as bringing back intellectual properties.