UPDATE 2: As expected, The Carnival of Monkey Island was cancelled, almost definitely due to copyright issues with Disney. A new post on the Adventure Game Studio forums simply stated in all bold letters "Project cancelled." That was fast.
The project's creator Roman "MacGuffin" Esseln since said in an e-mail to Eurogamer, "We have to cancel The Carnival of Monkey Island because its nearly impossible to get the license of Disney."
UPDATE: The Carnival of Monkey Island creator Roman "MacGuffin" Esseln explained that "the game wont be released if its not clear because of licences and so on" in an e-mail to Eurogamer.
He also noted that he was being facetious when he called the 3D Monkey Island games "crap," and it's just his subjective take on the art style switch. "I have to excuse my words. It is a fact that I personally don't like the new 3D graphics [be]cause I am a big fan of classic ones and Curse of Monkey Island," he said. "I didn't mean that Telltale built a bad game or used bad graphics. So sorry again if you misunderstand this."
Original story: A group of passionate Monkey Island fans have announced that they're working on their own entry into the series entitled The Carnival of Monkey Island.
As detailed on the Adventure Game Studio forums, this will be a free affair due to obvious copyright reasons. "We have to host this for free like a kind of fanart game," said developer MacGuffin, who noted that "We are producing this because (let's face it) this 3D Monkey Island crap is very horrible."
It doesn't sound as if this developer did their research as they seem to be under the impression that Telltale owns the series' rights when in fact Disney is the IP-holder on Monkey Island following its acquisition of LucasFilm last month.
Since then, Monkey Island creator Ron Gilbert has expressed an interest in ascertaining the rights to his most well known series. "I still have hope that I might get the rights to Monkey Island back someday," said Gilbert on his Grumpy Gamer blog. "LucasArts shutting down doesn't change anything since Disney bought them back in Oct. Maybe there will be less of an emotional attachment to it for them. Who knows."
It's unclear if Disney will allow this fan-made project to continue - just as Activision seemingly had no problem with a glut of fan-made Space Quest games making the rounds last year - or if the house of mouse will issue a cease and desist forthwith.
I've reached out to both Disney and The Carnival of Monkey Island's developer for comment on this legal grey area and will update as I hear back.