Psychonauts 2, the long-awaited sequel to Double Fine’s first beloved game, is still currently on track for a release in 2019 – but it may be having issues with its publisher Starbreeze, since that company is in a lot of trouble right now. Double Fine believes that Starbreeze will still publish Psychonauts 2, but the developer says that it is prepared if the publisher drops out.
Starbreeze was announced as the publisher of Psychonauts 2 a couple of years ago, which it said it would be taking on alongside Warren Spector’s next game System Shock 3. However, Starbreeze was in a far stronger position back in 2017 than it is now. It recently dropped out of publishing System Shock 3 amidst various financial troubles, and earlier today its latest game Overkill’s The Walking Dead was cancelled – just five months after release.
Naturally, as Psychonauts 2 is the one remaining game still down to be published by Starbreeze, it’s understandable that Double Fine is feeling a little nervous about being dropped too. Nevertheless, studio head Tim Schafer says he has “no reason to believe Starbreeze isn’t going to come through and publish it well,” but the developer is still preparing for that eventuality.
Tim Schafer spoke about its publisher issues with GamesIndustry, prior to Starbreeze’s problems with The Walking Dead. One of the things going for Psychonauts 2 if Starbreeze drops out, according to Schafer, is that the game has been funded from “multiple sources”. Apart from Starbreeze’s contribution, Double Fine also has USD$3.8 million raised from its Fig crowdfunding campaign, as well as its own revenue sources.
At the end of the day though, Schafer is confident that if Starbreeze stops publishing Psychonauts 2 for whatever reason, they’ll be able to find another publisher. “With Psychonauts 2 having been high profile and already having a great trailer out there,” he says, “there would be enough interest in other people funding it and finishing it if something happened.”
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Nevertheless, Schafer notes that Starbreeze have “been supporting the game and have pledged they’re definitely still capable of publishing it. So we have high hopes for that.” Hopefully that will remain the case, as it’d be unfortunate if Psychonauts 2 went through the same issues as its predecessor, which was almost cancelled when Microsoft dropped it. We’ll just have to wait and find out, for now.
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