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Ron can't make Monkey Island 3a, but wants to rile you up about it anyway 25 May, 2016 / 15 comments

This seems to happen every once in awhile. Ron will make some overture, like this tweet, about wanting to buy the Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion IP from Disney, dozens of sites will seize upon it, fans will work themselves into a tizzy, and then nothing happens.

And nothing happens because nothing will happen. Big companies do not sell their properties pretty much as a matter of policy, and even if they did it's not like Ron would ever be able to meet their quote. It took having the right friends at Sony for Double Fine to get licenses for their recent remakes from Disney, and Ron has made it clear that licensing isn't good enough for him. So what motive is there to beat this drum?

The last time Ron made sure to pump some oxygen into the flame of that mythical creator-sanctioned "Monkey Island 3a" was last fall:

I don’t know if I will ever get to make another Monkey Island. I always envisioned the game as a trilogy and I really hope I do, but I don’t know if it will ever happen. Monkey Island is now owned by Disney and they haven't shown any desire to sell me the IP. I don’t know if I could make Monkey Island 3a without complete control over what I was making and the only way to do that is to own it. Disney: Call me.

Maybe someday. Please don’t suggest I do a Kickstarter to get the money, that’s not possible without Disney first agreeing to sell it and they haven’t done that.

So guys, please, don't bug Ron about making another Monkey Island until Disney sells the IP to him first. Be reasonable here. I mean, gosh, why were you guys even bringing it up in the first place?! Wait...

Maybe I'm just a jerk, and Ron is shrewdly trying to build enough interest to get himself invited to a negotiating table. Maybe that is somehow something that's actually possible in the real world. Show me the light in the comments if you've got any to shine.

15 Comments

  • Avatar
    KestrelPi on 06 Jun, 2016, 23:31…
    Yeah. I don't get why he does this.

    First of all, he knows full well that it's not and never was his IP. He made it as work for hire, and was compensated for his effort. Lucas (now Disney) own and always did own the rights and have always controlled the IP. It's not like he got it taken from him, or lost it in a bet. His job was to make games for LucasFilm/Arts.

    It's a shame when a creator no longer has access to a project that they felt very close to and inevitably feel they have some ownership of, but he was also one of many people who brought Monkey Island alive, and many people have arguably done a fine job of keeping it alive after he left (some arguably not-so-fine too, but that's by the by)

    And the kicker is that if he was actually serious about this then I'd like to think he would be doing more than Twitter and forum posts which seem alternately desperate and belittling of others' work. Maybe he is, but that's not how it looks.

    What frustrates me most about this is that I'm actually curious. I WOULD like to know what he would have had in mind for Monkey Island 3. And I'd be excited as anything if something happened that made some movement possible on this thing. I like Ron a lot and I have to say that as someone who was very skeptical of the Thimbleweed Park Kickstarter pitch, that game looks like it's coming along really nicely too. But he does have a bit of an ego around his creations, and I feel like the whole thing around MI has been tainted by this undignified annual grousing.

  • Avatar
    Gov. Phatt on 05 Jun, 2016, 04:06…
    He needs to talk with whomever Tim Schaffer is working with to get the rights to make his remasters. Don't hold your breath on them calling you.
  • Avatar
    megacles on 31 May, 2016, 02:33…
    Yes agreed. I was around ten when I first played those games. The worlds of MI1 and 2 are a huge part of my childhood. While I suspect those first two games may have been lightning in a bottle, I would love a third game in that style and tradition. And if Thimbleweed Park does well, I'd love to see Ron make more classic-style adventure games, MI3a or no.
  • Avatar
    Pohev on 30 May, 2016, 13:22…
    Here's what i would like to say. I was about 14 when MI and MI2 came out. I had a old 286, 16 color, was not able to play MI. A fiend of mine played MI and i was so jealous. Funny is that MI2 was working also on 16 colors from the beginning. Later i managed to get a 16 color German version of MI. Those 2 are mine BEST EVER games simply. Decades later as they came out as Special editions, i got both for iPad. I had much fun playing them, they remembered me of how i learned English and being a child. Now i'm getting 40. Would i get and play a MI3a? Of course i would!!! :) I guess there are thousands out there which would do the same as me. We are a generation which grew on that, it's a "classic" like to some older people some movies or songs are. So @grumpygamer, i can only hope this will work out! Good luck ;)
  • Avatar
    AlfredJ on 30 May, 2016, 06:12…

    Rum Rogers

    AlfredJ

    Especially when you consider that Schafer and Grossman did most of the writing for those games, which he somehow never really brings up.


    Most of the writing? Hmmmmm... not really.



    The basic story and puzzle structure was Ron, all the dialogue (and a lot of the puzzles) was Tim and Dave
  • Avatar
    Rum Rogers on 29 May, 2016, 21:25…

    AlfredJ

    Especially when you consider that Schafer and Grossman did most of the writing for those games, which he somehow never really brings up.


    Most of the writing? Hmmmmm... not really.
  • Avatar
    AlfredJ on 27 May, 2016, 21:47…
    And, just to add because I don't just want to be an angry internet commenter, I'm honestly looking forward to Thimbleweed Park and I hope it'll be successful for them.

    But he should also stop acting like a victim when it comes to Monkey Island.
  • Avatar
    AlfredJ on 27 May, 2016, 21:46…
    Yeah Ron's attitude on this is a bummer, but the biggest bummer for me in all of this is that he's always downplaying the Monkey Island games after 2 so much that it turned into a major narrative on the internet - MI 3 and after don't count at all because Gilbert wasn't involved, and somehow he was wronged by not having him involved. I've seen writers of later games like Chuck Jordan being incredibly bummed out about this on Twitter. Regardless of whether you think of MI 3/4/5 as 'real' Monkey Island, at least acknowledge that a lot of good people put a lot of effort into them and kept interest in the franchise alive over those years (and added some great things to it as well). All his talk about his 'real' Monkey Island 3 just sounds incredibly unprofessional. Especially when you consider that Schafer and Grossman did most of the writing for those games, which he somehow never really brings up. At least those two have the decency not to shittalk those other games they didn't work on.

    All of this is just the same as his 'I'll never want a remake of the Monkey Island games because they're perfect as they are' rants he used to have - until Lucasarts offered him some cash to appear in promo videos and commentaries for those remakes.

    I want to like the guy and I think he has some interesting projects from time to time, but man, his self-chosen 'Grumpy Gamer' nickname isn't that accurate. I would go with something a bit more honest and maybe a bit more unpleasant.
  • Avatar
    Jason on 27 May, 2016, 16:42…

    Pohev

    Funny is that in the US copyright database i see LucasArts as owner of the rights:

    Copyright office



    That's because it still exists just as a label owned by Disney instead of a studio. Although I think Disney uses "Lucasfilm" as an all-encompassing brand, so it's what you'll see on Double Fine's remasters.
  • Avatar
    Pohev on 27 May, 2016, 16:16…
    Funny is that in the US copyright database i see LucasArts as owner of the rights:

    Copyright office

  • Avatar
    Rum Rogers on 26 May, 2016, 19:22…

    megacles


    It all depends on how Thimbleweed Park does. If it does well, it raises Ron's profile as a force worth negotiating with. If it doesn't, then MI3a will probably remain a day dream.


    I don't think anything depends on how well TP is gonna be received.
    Ron wants to buy an IP from Disney, which I doubt is needing some money.
    If TP goes well, Disney won't care anyway, as they wouldn't be involved in an hypothetical MI3a, aside from selling the whole IP.
    I guess if Ron accepted to obtain "only" the rights everything would be a lot simpler.
  • Avatar
    Alexrd on 26 May, 2016, 10:05…

    Rip

    Well, the least we could do is to bug him to actually talk to Disney in any meaningful way. Not through Twitter.



    Exactly. I don't see the reason for this tweet other than raising awareness, but his attitude on this is getting tiresome. Has he talked to them? We don't know. But we sure do about this futile request on Twitter.
  • Avatar
    megacles on 26 May, 2016, 08:10…
    Without Ron, a new Monkey Island game could be a moderately successful curiosity, if that. With Ron, it would generate a ton of attention and become much more mainstream. The story of "the old master returning to their original work" is a popular one - think George Miller returning to Mad Max, David Lynch returning to Twin Peaks, or even the original cast returning to Star Wars. Monkey Island has aged well and there's a lot of nostalgia for it.

    It all depends on how Thimbleweed Park does. If it does well, it raises Ron's profile as a force worth negotiating with. If it doesn't, then MI3a will probably remain a day dream.
  • Avatar
    Jason on 25 May, 2016, 23:58…
    Ron isn't stupid, so I have to think he knows that the only effective way to get in touch with the right people at Disney is through connections, like the sort Double Fine made via Sony. The fact that he's taking the cause to Twitter instead - the only possible outcome of which is working up naive fans - makes it come off as crass self-promotion. Which is fair enough I guess, but so's calling out the way it leads people on.
  • Avatar
    Rip on 25 May, 2016, 23:45…
    "please, don't bug Ron about making another Monkey Island".

    Well, the least we could do is to bug him to actually talk to Disney in any meaningful way. Not through Twitter. I want Ron to actually say: I asked them and they said NO. Or they said zillion dollars. Whatever. All these people yelling "take my money" are just making it worse.

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