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Fig is ready to throw Psychonauts money at you 06 Aug, 2019 / 10 comments

As you probably remember, Double Fine is now a Microsoft property, which means a whole host of things, potentially most so for those who invested in the Psychonauts 2 Fig campaign. Looks like Christmas will come early for said investors, with payments now being sent out in September, according to Destructoid. This because publishing rights have shifted to Microsoft.

Of course, who knows if it will amount to a happy Christmas or not -- a 139% return is nothing to sneeze at, unless, of course, Psychonauts 2 beats all estimates. That seems unlikely to me, but consider that only one handsome man’s opinion.

Did you invest? Sound off in the comments if so, though I never considered the Mojo crowd the investor type.

10 Comments

  • Avatar
    Call me Squinky on 17 Aug, 2019, 14:08…
    BTW I got mixed up on InXile - they've also been acquired by MS. :(

    It was Harebrained Schemes that got acquired by Paradox (the developers of Shadowrun Returns).
  • Avatar
    Call me Squinky on 15 Aug, 2019, 14:23…
    For that matter I wonder what the fates of other devs like Obsidian will be - they've already been burned by MS before.
  • Avatar
    Jennifer on 15 Aug, 2019, 08:29…
    The fact that Microsoft mandated that Rare work on Kinect titles for five years doesn't fill me with the greatest sense of hope that Microsoft would always continue to let Double Fine work on whatever projects they wanted to do.

    Although, Double Fine created some of the most fun experiences on Kinect, so if they were forced to focus on games for specific hardware peripheral(s), at least they'd probably be enjoyable.
  • Avatar
    elTee on 14 Aug, 2019, 18:41…

    valkian

    Call me Squinky


    On a broader note the Microsoft acquisition definitely concerns me in the longterm. Sure, they can say FOR NOW that they only care about supporting DF financially, but that could all change the moment MS' publishing leadership changes hands, and Tim and DF will have little recourse at that point. I get that continuing to turn to crowdfunding for eveything won't necessarily be viable longterm (especially for the bigger projects like Psy 2, which already needed additional support from publishers) but being beholden to a parent company whose main incentive is profit-driven doesn't sound like a good fit for DF going forward when the going gets tough.



    I think of it as Disney's acquisition of Pixar (which was several orders of magnitude larger than this one). Disney understood that they weren't so much buying a money making machine, as adopting a culture of filmmaking. Pixar has since remained pretty much unchanged ever since then (in terms of the way it operates, the way their movies are made and so on, regardless of the output), but Disney changed because of acquiring Pixar.

    Now, of course I don't expect Microsoft to change even in their game department because of their owning of Double Fine, but Tim Schafer is no fool. He wouldn't have agreed to a short-term benefit if he thought there was a chance that this could go wrong in the long-term. I would imagine there were some conditions under which he accepted to join Microsoft. I would imagine that in 2019, a company like Microsoft is purchasing a company for more than whatever revenue Double Fine can generate (which is far from impressive and represents coins to a massive company like Microsoft).

    It's fine to be cautious about it, but I see no reason to be pessimistic about it. The fact that they don't have to chase funding is HUGE. So I'd say let's not worry until we have reason to worry. Let's assume Tim and co knew what they were doing.



    I don't think the Disney/Pixar comparison is the right one. Pixar and Disney already had contracts, and the Toy Story 2 debacle really squared them up against each other. Disney basically bought Pixar out but at the cost of having Pixar on the Disney board, where they would have important influence over the direction of the company.

    I regret I am in the camp who feels that an inherited regime will one day look at the books and say "what is Double Fine and why are we paying for it?"
  • Avatar
    Call me Squinky on 13 Aug, 2019, 17:15…
    @valkian - You could well be right, but the movie industry may be in a different place right now - to start with, it's more mature (at least in terms of having existed for considerably longer).

    Maybe the deal had some stipulations, but Tim's shown in the past that he'll tend to sign on with publishers who may or may not really care about doing a good job in the long run, or giving DF a fair shake when push comes to shove.

    I don't know what recourse he might have if management changes hands and they start getting hounded more to change their development style or start randomly having to help other companies rush out their games. I hope you're right that MS is legally bound to maintain a hands-off approach, but personally I kind of doubt it.
  • Avatar
    valkian on 13 Aug, 2019, 05:27…

    Call me Squinky


    On a broader note the Microsoft acquisition definitely concerns me in the longterm. Sure, they can say FOR NOW that they only care about supporting DF financially, but that could all change the moment MS' publishing leadership changes hands, and Tim and DF will have little recourse at that point. I get that continuing to turn to crowdfunding for eveything won't necessarily be viable longterm (especially for the bigger projects like Psy 2, which already needed additional support from publishers) but being beholden to a parent company whose main incentive is profit-driven doesn't sound like a good fit for DF going forward when the going gets tough.



    I think of it as Disney's acquisition of Pixar (which was several orders of magnitude larger than this one). Disney understood that they weren't so much buying a money making machine, as adopting a culture of filmmaking. Pixar has since remained pretty much unchanged ever since then (in terms of the way it operates, the way their movies are made and so on, regardless of the output), but Disney changed because of acquiring Pixar.

    Now, of course I don't expect Microsoft to change even in their game department because of their owning of Double Fine, but Tim Schafer is no fool. He wouldn't have agreed to a short-term benefit if he thought there was a chance that this could go wrong in the long-term. I would imagine there were some conditions under which he accepted to join Microsoft. I would imagine that in 2019, a company like Microsoft is purchasing a company for more than whatever revenue Double Fine can generate (which is far from impressive and represents coins to a massive company like Microsoft).

    It's fine to be cautious about it, but I see no reason to be pessimistic about it. The fact that they don't have to chase funding is HUGE. So I'd say let's not worry until we have reason to worry. Let's assume Tim and co knew what they were doing.
  • Avatar
    Call me Squinky on 10 Aug, 2019, 12:41…

    Kolzig

    It is kind of interesting that pretty much all the game development companies behind Fig have been bought up by Microsoft.

    Double Fine and inXile were the major companies behind and Obsidian had one of the big game projects in it with Pillars of Eternity II.



    Yeah, it's in the interest of the big companies for sure to not just compete with, but also buy up/eliminate the smaller competition when possible - especially when the smaller companies' financing model is an existential threat to its relative funding monopoly of the industry.

  • Avatar
    Kolzig on 09 Aug, 2019, 20:06…
    It is kind of interesting that pretty much all the game development companies behind Fig have been bought up by Microsoft.

    Double Fine and inXile were the major companies behind and Obsidian had one of the big game projects in it with Pillars of Eternity II.
  • Avatar
    ThunderPeel2001 on 08 Aug, 2019, 18:12…
    I wish I’d had the money to invest at the time. Those that did invest did so out of a love for DF, so I bet they’re happy their investment paid back more than they put in.
  • Avatar
    Call me Squinky on 06 Aug, 2019, 21:43…
    it's not something I would be interested in investing in - for one thing it's not in my country - don't know if the laws are different internationally (though the rate of return in my country might actually be better). but I was more interested in using Fig as a more traditional way of helping to fund games as a consumer.

    On a broader note the Microsoft acquisition definitely concerns me in the longterm. Sure, they can say FOR NOW that they only care about supporting DF financially, but that could all change the moment MS' publishing leadership changes hands, and Tim and DF will have little recourse at that point. I get that continuing to turn to crowdfunding for eveything won't necessarily be viable longterm (especially for the bigger projects like Psy 2, which already needed additional support from publishers) but being beholden to a parent company whose main incentive is profit-driven doesn't sound like a good fit for DF going forward when the going gets tough. Also as several outlets had posted, Obsidian also giving in to MS is surprising after their own checkered history with that company.

    Meanwhile, if all the major mid-range developers who turned to fig for crowdfunding are being bought up, what does this mean for fig? As i understood it they were already struggling - I don't know if small indie titles alone can sustain them. Even inXile was bought up (but at least it was by Paradox, who may be more motivated to actually make sure they're allowed to stick to their strengths).

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