Future of Psychonauts dev's publishing label in doubt following Microsoft acquisition

But studio still wants to support indies.

Double Fine Presents, the indie publishing label from Psychonauts developer Double Fine, may not be long for this world, following the company's acquisition by Microsoft earlier this year.

Since its inception in 2014, Double Fine Presents has assisted smaller indie developers in releasing a wide array of quirky titles, including provocative interactive animation Kids, reality sim Everything, ambient oddity Mountain, and the recent, critically acclaimed action-adventure Knights and Bikes from the creative director of Tearaway. And while there's still Samurai Gunn 2 to come, Double Fine Presents' future is uncertain beyond that point.

Speaking to Destructoid, Double Fine head honcho Tim Schafer explained that operating a publishing arm while under the wing of another publisher is a "complicated issue", and admitted that it's one that "doesn't make sense" if potential release platforms for new indie titles would be limited as a result of Microsoft's acquisition.

However, while Schafer is unsure of Double Fine's continued status as a publisher, he did suggest that the studio could still find ways to maintain the Presents programme's spirit, and achieve its goals of helping smaller developers in other ways.

"We can...still do things like Day of the Devs which is another part of Double Fine Presents," Schafer explained, "that helps elevate 70 or 80 games, and we let people come meet those developers and play those games, and it's free to the public.

"It's a great way to approach that same mission, and we can still do that without officially putting our name on it and taking a share of the revenue".

Although Double Fine's publishing activities may have run their course, the future is looking bright for the studio as a whole. Double Fine - which has delighted fans with idiosyncratic offerings including Stacking, Costume Quest, Brütal Legend, Broken Age, and the recent Rad since its inception in 2000 - is now buoyed by Microsoft's deep pockets, and the very-long-awaited Psychonauts 2 is scheduled to launch next year.

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Matt Wales

Matt Wales

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Matt Wales is a freelance writer and gambolling summer child who won't even pretend to live a busily impressive life of dynamic go-getting for the purposes of this bio. He is the sole and founding member of the Birdo for President of Everything Society.

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