Back in February 2012 Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson stirred up a bit of excitement among Double Fine fans when he publicly announced that he was interested in talking with Tim Schafer about funding the development of Psychonuats 2. Now, almost a year after that initial tease, Notch has confirmed that he will not be providing any “angel investing” to help develop the sequel to the 2005 cult classic.
Notch revealed the bad news on Reddit last Friday, saying:
“I somewhat naively thought “a couple of million” was two million. I had no doubt in my mind that a Psychonauts 2 would earn that money back easily.”
“Turns out they wanted 18 million dollars, haha. I don’t have the time at the moment to even try to get educated enough to make an eighteen million dollar deal. Perhaps in some distant future when I’m no longer trying to make games, I could get into angel investing.”
“I’ve made one private investment into a game so far, at 100k, and it’s frankly a lot more work than I thought.”
The topic of Psychonauts 2 original came up last year when Digital Spy asked Schafer if we would ever see a sequel to the original game. Schafer replied “…I’ve actually pitched that to publishers several times and no-one has taken the bait so far… I’d love to do that game, but I’d have to convince someone to just give me a few million dollars, that’s all.” That interview caught the attention of Notch who quickly Tweeted to Schafer “Let’s make Psychonauts 2 happen”.
Tim Schafer later confirmed to Kotaku that he and Notch were in talks about Psychonauts 2, saying in part:
“I was like, ‘I don’t think you can make [it] for a million dollars.’ The original game was, I think, $13 million, I think you have to match the original game. As soon as I mentioned the amount of money he said, ‘Yeah, I can do that.’”
“…He’s [Notch] been pretty successful. And, when you look into it, it’s a really inspiring story. He’s just a regular guy. He didn’t do anything sleazy to get it. He just made it himself, distributed it himself, it’s a great story. I think we have a lot to learn from him, so I’d like to do something with him. And I’d like to make Psychonauts 2.”
After the bad news was revealed on Reddit this last Friday, Schafer confirmed that Notch is no longer interested in funding Psychonauts 2, saying “Yeah, I think I gave Markus a heart attack when I told him how much Psychonauts 2 would cost”.
Despite the set back, it appears that there is still some hope that Psychonauts 2 might see the light of day at some point. Venturebeat received a statement from Schafer stating that once development is completed on their Kickstarter game the studio will “likely explore alternative funding methods that will require multiple sources to make is a reality”. He then added, “We’re still going to do it someday, I hope”.
It’s not much, but any small sliver of hope for Psychonauts 2 is something worth holding on to.