Source: An article on The International House of Mojo based on a forum translation of an article on Norwegian Web site gamer.no, all of which have apparently been pulled. (One has been preserved via a Google cache.) What we heard: Double Fine Productions' next game remains shrouded in mystery. It's been made public that Vivendi Games is publishing it, and it's well known it will have an impressive critical pedigree to live up to. The studio's last effort, Psychonauts (Xbox, PlayStation 2, and PC), was critically acclaimed but commercially unimpressive. Double Fine founder Tim Schafer previously worked at LucasArts, where he made a name for himself on Grim Fandango, Maniac Mansion 2: Day of the Tentacle, and the Secret of Monkey Island series.
In such an information drought, the smallest shred of information can be tantalizing. Thus the enthusiastic reaction to today's report that Schafer's next game is Brutal Legend, and that it will debut later this month at the Games Convention in Leipzig, Germany. The article says the game will star musician-actor Jack Black as a rock band roadie who dies and must escape hell to reach rock heaven. The description of how the game would play involved puzzles and strategy in controlling multiple characters, which doesn't sound too far from Schafer's adventure-gaming roots. Mojo also pointed out that Black has been spotted wearing Double Fine T-shirts, as evidenced by a recent thread on the Idle Thumbs forums from which the original article's translation originated. Then there's the supernatural-headbanger subject matter, which is reminiscent of the film Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny, which Black starred in.
This is not the first time rumors of Double Fine's next game have sprung up. However, the fact that the developer asked for at least one of the stories to be yanked (according to Mojo's retraction) suggests that something in the article was uncomfortably close to the truth. On the other hand, this is a report of a forum translation of a Norwegian site's article, so all the above information is fifth-hand, leaving plenty of room for details to be fudged or omitted.
The official story: "The whole thing was a lie. What I'm really working on is Zak McKracken 2 for the PSP."--Tim Schafer, speaking to International House of Mojo.
"There have been some rumors lately. Some stuff was true. Like the stuff about me being a good kisser. But a lot of it was false. I would love to tell everybody about the Monkey Island first-person shooter that we're working on, but I can't yet. Not at Leipzig either. But in a couple of months I can. In fact, you will be hearing so much about Monkey Shooter that you will get sick of it and you'll probably want to curl up in the back of your closet just to get away from it for a while."--Tim Schafer, speaking to GameSpot.
Bogus or not bogus?: While it's a distinct possibility, we're too far from the original source to call this one either way.