Bankrolling Psychonauts 2 was Just a "Semi-Joke," Says Notch

Illustration for article titled Bankrolling Psychonauts 2 was Just a "Semi-Joke," Says Notch

A Tweeted offer to back a sequel to Tim Schafer's cult favorite Psychonauts was "a semi-joke," said Markus "Notch" Persson, the creator of Minecraft and a guy who's not hard up for cash in light of that game's success. Notch rattled off a host of reasons why we shouldn't get our hopes up, especially the cost of the project.


"The budget for doing a Psychonauts 2 is three times higher than my initial impression, Notch wrote on his personal blog today in a post titled "Hype!" He also assumes (rightly, one thinks) that Schafer's Double Fine studio will be tied up with the Kickstarter project, which has raised $1.8 million in about a week.

"Tim and I haven't spoken much at all other than a couple of emails," Notch wrote. Also "a couple of other parties have mentioned also being interested in investing in it."

In one of those conversations, Schafer told Kotaku that he informed Notch the original Psychonauts budget was $13 million. It released in 2005. "I was like, 'I don't think you can make [it] for a million dollars,'" Schafer says he told Notch. Yet, "as soon as I mentioned the amount of money he said, 'Yeah, I can do that.'"

Evidently that figure moved up to about $40 million. That's not to say Notch hasn't seriously thought about it—he has, to the extent that he would be very specific about his reasons for doing so. "I would not be investing in this as a charity. It would be because I think the game would be profitable," he said. "And naturally, I wouldn't want to have any creative input in the game. It would be purely a high-risk investment in a project I believe in.

"All I know is that IF the numbers work out and IF they still want to do it and IF they don't decide to self fund a sequel by doing more crowd funding (which is honestly what I would've done if I were them), I would be most interested in doing this type of investment," he said.


Hype! [The Word of Notch]



I don't see any way Psychonauts 2 could recoup that sort of investment. It'd have to sell roughly 1.5 million units just to break even (for Notch, assuming he/Mojang would be the publisher), and I don't think that's going to happen with a cult hit that has niche appeal.