Psychonauts 2 is an upcoming platform video game developed by Double Fine and published by Xbox Game Studios.
Psychonauts 2 is an upcoming platform video game developed by Double Fine and published by Xbox Game Studios. The game was announced at The Game Awards 2015 ceremony, and is planned for release in 2021 on Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.
Double Fine and game director Tim Schafer had expressed the desire to create a sequel to Psychonauts, but the financial demand of developing the game stalled any serious attempt for several years. After strong sales of the original through various outlets along with strong demand from the fanbase of the original game, Double Fine sought to acquire part of its financial capital to fund the developments of Psychonauts 2 through a US$3.3 million crowd-funding and investment drive through Fig, launched simultaneously with the game's announcement. The campaign raised nearly $4 million by the beginning of 2016.
Psychonauts 2 will be a third-person platform game similar in gameplay to its predecessor. The player will control Raz, a newly graduated Psychonaut with powerful psychic abilities, as he delves into the minds of others. The player will use "Psi-Powers", such as telekinesis, pyrokinesis, and levitation, in combination with more common platform game elements, to explore the mental worlds of several non-player characters.
Double Fine's first title as a studio was Psychonauts, released in 2005. The title was considered a commercial failure, but was highly praised by critics for its characters and writing and gained a cult following. In the years following its release, fans and game journalists urged Tim Schafer, CEO of Double Fine and principal creative lead on the game, to develop a sequel to the title.
Schafer had expressed interest in working on the Psychonauts franchise again, with the company having envisioned larger story arcs for the game's characters over the course of its development. The development of the sequel would require a publisher that was interested in the game, and Double Fine approached publishers with the idea; Schafer said that in these pitches, he pointed out the large number of both legitimate sales through digital distribution and through the illegitimate means of software piracy. After Double Fine's success with the concurrent development and publishing of several smaller games, such as Costume Quest and Iron Brigade, Schafer felt more comfortable about embarking on a sequel, knowing that it need not obstruct the creation of any newer properties. Despite this, the publishers continued to turn down the idea. Some called the concept too creative or too obscure, according to Schafer. For others, with whom Schafer said he had good relations, the deals they offered did not fit with the scale Double Fine had planned for the game.
In February 2012, Markus Persson, at the time the owner of Mojang, made a public offer to fund a sequel to Schafer through Twitter. Later that day, a company representative for Double Fine stated that Persson and Schafer were discussing the possibility, without further affirmation. Persson noted that the anticipated costs that Double Fine would need would be an estimated $18 million, far exceeding what was initially expected to fund and cautioned fans to avoid hyping the funding possibility. Persson and Schafer met at the Game Developers Conference in March 2012; no definitive plans were made for funding a sequel, however. In February 2013, Persson officially stated that he was no longer directly trying to fund the sequel, commenting that he did not "have the time at the moment to even try to get educated enough to make an 18 million dollar deal", though would be open to the idea at a later time after he left game development; Persson did note other potential investors have stepped forward to help any such effort.
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