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The circle is complete as Double Fine now belongs to Microsoft 09 Jun, 2019 / 13 comments

It’s true: Double Fine is now officially part of Xbox Game Studios, and… I don’t even know. Check what Tim has to say, and Mojo will be back with more. Meanwhile, check out some Psychonauts 2 goodness.

13 Comments

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    KestrelPi on 24 Jun, 2019, 16:05…
    Don't know for sure, but wouldn't read too much into Zak's departure and Microsoft acquisition being related. From what I can gather, the former was happening well before the latter.

    As for the acquisition itself, well. As some people have mentioned, DF has been living by the seat of its pants for a long while now, and from that perspective - sure, maybe one day this results in DF closing, but it's hard to see it as a bigger risk than all the risks they've taken so far, even if it feels that way.

    It's a shame to lose the platform diversity, and a shame to lose the independence, but right now I'm just excited to see what they come up with next, when they don't need to take it around the world trying to drum up interest. So there's a very exciting aspect to it as well.

    And hey, even if this does go sour - they've have a very good run of nearly two decades, and if they go out on a couple of big games funded by microsoft... well, there's worse ways to go, right? Obviously I hope that they could carry on forever and ever - and I am optimistic their best work may still be ahead of them, but if they did go on for a long long time, sadly that would make them an exception in this industry.
  • Avatar
    ThunderPeel2001 on 12 Jun, 2019, 00:46…
    From Zak's LinkedIn it looks like he left when the game hit Beta (in March of this year it seems). Interesting. Maybe they didn't need the Project Lead anymore? Hmm... :-/
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    ThunderPeel2001 on 12 Jun, 2019, 00:34…

    Remi

    We dunked it out on Twitter. I still don’t see the big deal about it, he was just on for this one project. Of course, with all this coming to light, maybe there was more to it…



    Yeah but the lead designer left before the project was completed... without any sort of official farewell or goodbye? Uness there's something I don't know -- which is definitely possible seeing how I'm just learning about it now. But I think that's pretty significant. In fact, I'd say it was HUGE. Things weren't going well for one reason or another? Hmm.

    This new deal would have taken months to put together, so DF must have seen the writing on the wall by the end of last year, at least. I wonder what's going on... and if Fig investors are privy to any of it.

    Sigh. Please continue DF! Be strong and prosper!
  • Avatar
    Remi on 11 Jun, 2019, 21:18…

    ThunderPeel2001

    What's this about Zak McClendon's sudden departure? Who was he? When did he go? Was this reported on Mojo? :-/



    We dunked it out on Twitter. I still don’t see the big deal about it, he was just on for this one project. Of course, with all this coming to light, maybe there was more to it…
  • Avatar
    Vainamoinen on 11 Jun, 2019, 20:44…

    Nor Treblig

    Well, the good news is: Psychonauts 2 will be the first game (unless I'm mistaken) on GOG published by Microsoft.



    Doublesoft Microfine will likely weasel out of this promise.

    And if things REALLY go to shit, they will take all DF games off GOG just because they can.
  • Avatar
    ThunderPeel2001 on 11 Jun, 2019, 20:05…
    Dammit, I love DoubleFine, I wish they'd have that Half-Life 2 sized hit they deserve! Valve should have just bought them because it would have been a cool thing to do.

    I think in the future DF will be farmed out into doing licensed deals. XBox Game Studios didn't buy them to suck all their profits... they did it for their resources. I'm DF will continue to make cool games, though.

    I always said they just needed better internal tech. A John Carmack type who was addicted to the technology side of things, with Tim to handling the actual fun, creative side. They would have been unstoppable.

    What's this about Zak McClendon's sudden departure? Who was he? When did he go? Was this reported on Mojo? :-/
  • Avatar
    Nor Treblig on 10 Jun, 2019, 02:01…
    Well, the good news is: Psychonauts 2 will be the first game (unless I'm mistaken) on GOG published by Microsoft.

    The bad news: It will probably the last one too... :-(
  • Avatar
    AlfredJ on 10 Jun, 2019, 00:00…

    Jason

    It's very sad to think that Tim no longer own his post-LEC games now. There was a time when he fingered that as one of the most critical motives in starting his own company.

    I wonder if things had been getting fraught at Double Fine, for if the general, agonizing hustle that is being an independent studio got to be too much to sustain after two decades.

    Obviously, I hope this gives Double Fine the security and autonomy they clearly think they're getting at it. These things usually go well for the first several years, before inevitably going sour. </cynicsm>



    I agree with this, although I also think it's clear that things couldn't keep going for much longer without a deal like this. Considering the biggest alternative (the studio closing down), this is one of the better options. Whether they really do get the chance to keep making the games they want to make (and the way they want to), ony time will tell. But sadly this industry just seems way too tough to keep a company like DF going in its purest form.

    We'll see what happens after Psycho 2 & Rad.

    And I wonder how in-depth future documentary episodes will get into all of this. I can imagine some employees sharing these worries, but I doubt Microsoft would be happy with DF airing that dirty laundry so soon after the deal.

    And I wonder if this is related to Zach McClendon's sudden departure - he was the project lead, and from the sound of things they still have quite a lot to do on the game. But that's going into gossip territory, so I probably shouldn't go on.

    Regardless, extremely impressive how long they managed to stay independent, and who knows - maybe this will actually lead to a new golden era.
  • Avatar
    Jason on 09 Jun, 2019, 23:19…
    It's very sad to think that Tim no longer own his post-LEC games now. There was a time when he fingered that as one of the most critical motives in starting his own company.

    I wonder if things had been getting fraught at Double Fine, for if the general, agonizing hustle that is being an independent studio got to be too much to sustain after two decades.

    Obviously, I hope this gives Double Fine the security and autonomy they clearly think they're getting at it. These things usually go well for the first several years, before inevitably going sour. </cynicsm>
  • Avatar
    TheRealDrMcCoy on 09 Jun, 2019, 22:53…
    So no Linux support after Psychonauts 2 :(
  • Avatar
    Laserschwert on 09 Jun, 2019, 22:29…

    AlfredJ

    Also I hope the games after Psycho 2 come out on PC as well, since I can't really see myself buying an Xbox.


    In the video Tim at least mentions that they are aiming for Xbox and PC from now on.
  • Avatar
    monkeyboobs on 09 Jun, 2019, 22:26…
    Maybe a chance for bigger and even better games now?
    Don't wanna believe it anyway...

    (Psychonauts 2 publishing rights signed to Microsoft: https://gematsu.com/2019/06/psychonauts-2-e3-2019-trailer-publishing-rights-signed-to-microsoft)
  • Avatar
    AlfredJ on 09 Jun, 2019, 22:23…
    Man, parts of that video update from Tim almost sound like a farewell to the fans (although he also mentions new projects in the future).

    I was honestly expecting some sort of change one of these days, since it was clear the company was in trouble (or very close to trouble) fairly often. It's better than the Telltale route, that's for sure. I hope it all works out for them. No way to know how hopeful to be since I'm not very aware of what Microsoft/Xbox is like these days. But I hope everyone at DF is happy with it, and that the deal takes some of the (seemingly constant) pressure off.

    Also I hope the games after Psycho 2 come out on PC as well, since I can't really see myself buying an Xbox.

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