Psychonauts 2, the long-awaited sequel to Tim Schaefer’s 2005 3D action platformer, is now nearing the finish line. The Double Fine team sat down with Venture Beat to talk about Psychonauts 2 development, and brought attention to how Microsoft acquiring the studio was a big help for the game and the studio as a whole.
Originally an indie studio, Double Fine Productions has multiple other games under its belt, including Brütal Legend, Iron Brigade, Broken Age, Grim Fandango: Remastered, Massive Chalice, and Headlander, alongside the Psychonauts VR side-game, Psychonauts in The Rhombus of Ruin.
However, indie studios have all the same requirements every business does, including how to pay its employees, where money was coming from, and everything else. These issues often necessitated things having to be cut from Psychonauts 2 in order to take the money elsewhere. When Microsoft acquired them, however, things started looking up.
Double Fine being acquired by Microsoft helped everyone to be able to free up head space and stop worrying about everything else in order to focus on Psychonauts 2 development. They could even put back the bosses that they’d originally cut from the game. They even got to hire more contractors to work on the game.
Microsoft has spent the past several years acquiring a large number of different, previously independent studios, ranging from Double Fine to most recently Bethesda through the acquisition of its parent company, Zenimax Online Media.
While we don’t know what this might mean for the exclusivity of games in the future, as Microsoft has said that they don’t intend to make every game from their acquired studios Xbox-exclusive (and Psychonauts 2 is multiplatform), it’s good to know that Microsoft’s acquisition was good for Psychonauts 2 development.
You’ll be able to see the culmination of all of Double Fine Productions’ hard work when the game releases on the Xbox One, Playstation 4, Xbox Series X, Playstation 5, and PC on August 25.