First Shenmue III, then the Final Fantasy VII remake, then the Resident Evil 2 remake, and now… Psychonauts 2?! I guess we can officially mark 2015 as the year that gamers’ impossible dreams came true (well, beyond Half-Life 3 and Beyond Good & Evil 2, but we’re definitely happy nonetheless!), as Double Fine Productions boss, Tim Schafer appeared on stage at The Game Awards tonight, to confirm that Psychonauts 2, one of the most oft-demanded games amongst gaming enthusiasts, is finally becoming a reality.
There is a catch however, as the game is seeking crowdfunding on Fig, a new Kickstarter-esque platform that allows fans to invest in game projects, and have a chance at seeing financial returns on successful products, as a cut above Kickstarter’s developer-controlled donation rewards. Double Fine has now already got most of the game’s development schedule and resources lined up however, complete with a major partner that they’re neglecting to reveal for now. The crowdfunding campaign is simply to solidify demand for the game, and round off the necessary $3.3 million goal that is needed to fully proceed with the game.
Schafer went on to talk about how Psychonauts 2 started to be pitched to several major publishers around 2011, who all rejected it, despite being thoroughly enamoured with its charm and presentation, citing the project as being too risky, because apparently, not enough people are demanding Psychonauts 2, despite the fact that almost every avid gamer under the sun is demanding Psychonauts 2. Minecraft creator, Markus “Notch” Persson also previously attempted to collaborate with Schafer on making the game, but these plans unfortunately fell through.
It seems that Double Fine has finally found a publisher willing to back the project however, assuming that the Fig campaign is successful, and it no doubt will be, especially considering that Shenmue III’s Kickstarter campaign that began this past Summer, ended up shattering crowdfunding records.
Schafer also confirmed that the plan is to have the game released in 2018, and to develop it with Unreal Engine 4. This would seem to confirm a planned release on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, as those are the platforms that support Unreal Engine 4 (assuming that the publisher partner isn’t Sony or Microsoft, which would eliminate the competing console), though this also leaves a Wii U version out of the cards, as the Wii U doesn’t properly support Unreal Engine 4 development. It is however possible that Psychonauts 2 could make it to Nintendo’s mysterious upcoming platform, code-named ‘NX’, especially since Square Enix accidentally let slip that NX supports Unreal Engine 4 a few months back. An even wilder possibility is that the mysterious partner backing the game may even be Nintendo, who certainly wouldn’t turn tail at a risky project, given their recent track record with hardware releases and game releases alike.
The original Psychonauts released in 2005, and was primarily developed for PC and Xbox, with a PlayStation 2 port outsourced to Budcat Creations. Majesco published the original game, which was a very well-received 3D platformer, about a group of kids that attend a Summer camp for psychics, and end up stumbling on a dangerous conspiracy. Despite its very positive reception from critics and gamers alike, and its very passionate cult following, Psychonauts was sadly a commercial failure that sold poorly, due to declining interest in 3D platformers at the time, and the fact that the then-next-gen Xbox 360 was releasing in a few short months, with the PlayStation 3 and Wii already confirmed for launch a year later. Despite that however, the game was eventually released on the Xbox Originals selection for Xbox 360, and the PS2 Classics selection for PlayStation 3, due to fan demand, as well as converted for optimization on Mac and Linux in recent years.
Keep commanding Eggplante for all news and updates on Psychonauts.