NEWS - Saturday, August 7, 2004

Psychonauts Q & A

Tim Schafer’s work on Day of The Tentacle, Full Throttle, and Grim Fandango set the bar high. So high it seems, most in the game industry decided any attempt to fund products of such enlightened humor and grace are just not worth the effort. So it comes down to Schafer to reach inside himself and deliver another creative masterpiece to gamers. But even for Schafer, it’s not an easy task. His split with LucasArts in 2000 begat a tiny San Francisco start-up, Double Fine Productions. The studio’s first publisher relationship, with Microsoft, dissolved over a year ago. But the game, Psychonauts, lived on. And just this week, news of Double Fine allying with a new publisher started to make the rounds. Most reacted with surprise when a video of Psychonauts was shown at an industry event last weekend. The short video displayed the logo Majesco, a company not usually associated with the likes of Tim Schafer. But Majesco it was. We checked in with Schafer just as the week came to a close. GameSpot: About this deal with Majesco...Tim, how did Double Fine and Majesco hook up? Tim Schafer: At the [last] Game Developer’s Conference, in about four different conversations, the name Majesco came up as a company that was about to unleash in a big way. Other publishers we were negotiating with at the time were like, "Okay, the game is great, we just have to run a series of eight focus group tests." Or, "We love it; now we just have to get approval from the parent group/company/nation." That whole process is so slow and frustrating. Then Majesco shows up and they just had their stuff together. They knew what they wanted and were prepared to act on it, and when we met them it was obvious that they were for real, and that they genuinely cared about games in general and Psychonauts in particular. Be sure to catch the entire interview with Tim here


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