Surprising the audience in attendance at its E3 2019 press conference (and basically everyone), Microsoft today announced that it has acquired Double Fine, the studio that made Psychonauts and is currently working on its sequel.
Taking the stage alongside Microsoft’s Matt Booty, Double Fine head Tim Schafer joked that he’s a “team player” who’ll make anything Microsoft wants. “Halo stuff,” he said, listing examples. “Uh... Forza stuff. Excel stuff. Whatever you want, we are there.”
“Tim, we just want you to make great games,” Booty replied.
“Phew, that’s such a relief, because I was totally lying,” replied Schafer.
In a video explaining the rationale behind the sale, Schafer said that Double Fine still plans to honor all crowdfunding-related commitments, and he and his team have no intention of changing the kinds of games they make. He’s happy that he and the rest of Double Fine can now focus on realizing game ideas instead of pitching them all over the world and trying to secure funding. Of course, the gaming industry has a spotty (at best) track record with plucky indie studios—even ones as large and legacied as Double Fine—getting purchased by major publishers and platform-makers. I suppose time will tell.
Double Fine also showed off the first gameplay trailer for Psychonauts 2: