Ron Gilbert takes up with Double Fine

DeathSpank creator rejoins with Secret of Monkey Island collaborator Tim Schafer on new, as-yet-undetailed new project.

Ron Gilbert seemed to have a pretty good thing going at Hothead Games, where he served as creative director since January 2008 and released the critically acclaimed DeathSpank and DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue. However, the acclaimed Secret of Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion designer didn't stick around to build on that success, announcing in April that he had departed the company.

Ron Gilbert has always been fine, but now he's Double Fine.

Today, Gilbert's next step has been illuminated, as Double Fine Productions confirmed for GameSpot that it has hired on the noted designer to helm a new, as-yet-unannounced project. The move reunites Gilbert with Double Fine founder Tim Schafer; they worked together on LucasArts' early-to-mid '90s portfolio of adventure games, including the aforementioned Monkey Island series.

As part of an interview with Kotaku, Gilbert noted that his position at the company hasn't exactly been determined. Questioned about Gilbert's new title, Schafer noted, "He's the official Ron Gilbert. Though he started out as vice Ron Gilbert, we want to make sure he works out."

Gilbert went on to note that he was offered the position after working out of Double Fine's offices on his own personal project. "For the last couple of months, Tim has been loaning me his desk here, as he has in the past," Gilbert said. "We have just been talking about different ideas I've had for games, kind of going back and forth like we do, and then Tim suggested, 'Hey why don't you come here and build this thing.'"

Details on that "thing" remain under wraps. However, Gilbert did say that it will be an original property. "It's an idea that I've been batting around for many, many years," he said. "I've been talking to Tim over the last couple of months about it, and it sort of percolated back up. It's very different than DeathSpank; it's a bit of a departure from that. It's going in a very interesting direction. Fans of those old adventure games will like it."

Schafer noted that he intends for his studio to maintain a four-game lineup, and with the THQ-published Costume Quest approaching its fall release, a slot for Gilbert's game opened up. Double Fine has not yet announced a release date or platforms for Gilbert's title, and a publisher has yet to be secured.

Double Fine's four-game portfolio was first announced in July at the Develop 2010 conference. At that time, Schafer revealed that a Brutal Legend follow-up had been shelved following the first game's lackluster commercial reception. Little has been said about Double Fine's other three "indie-style" games.

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Discussion

35 comments
shentonio
shentonio

I absolutely love the Deathspank games, so I will be keeping an eye on this arrangement.

saldog78
saldog78

That's the second biggest announcement i've ever seen. Seriously though, you fight like a cow. I mean, awesome news.

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

I like Tim Schafer's Psychonauts... it's masterpiece.. but Brutal Legends sucks harder... :?

volcomstoner180
volcomstoner180

cmon old school adventure game style game i wont ever stop loving those old games like DOTT

Shadow_Fire41
Shadow_Fire41

'is currently hoping for another brutal legend' (btw, **** EA) also secretly hoping for another penny arcade adventures game......but we wont get that. :(

wahyudil
wahyudil

"Fans of those old adventure games will like it." ... curious ...

x-2tha-z
x-2tha-z

Hopefully they can produce something better than Brutal Legend. That game was crap.

Pete5506
Pete5506

Sounds god to me, something great can come from this

Planeforger
Planeforger

Gilbert and Schafer teaming up again to produce what might just be an adventure game? Best news I've heard all year.

Mephistoau
Mephistoau

This is awesome news. Although i'm still shattered that Double Fine are going for smaller games now. I loved Brutal Legend - would have been a much better game if they'd just dropped the RTS part and focused on a solid action adventure. *Sniff* i teared up a little at the announcement of no BL2 :'(

SuprSaiyanRockr
SuprSaiyanRockr

I hate EA so much for what they did to Brutal Legend. Here's hoping this next game isn't published by them.

Fandango_Letho
Fandango_Letho

Wow! The old buddies back together. Another classic in the work?

feleas
feleas

@Drkr_Zen I personally loved Brutal Legend the most, but then again I'm a metalhead, lol.

feleas
feleas

@iloveyourface In the words of Eddie Riggs, "Hell yeah!".

iloveyourface
iloveyourface

Hey now just combine Steve Purcell with Double Fine and heads will LITERALLY explode.

Drkr_Zen
Drkr_Zen

Best news I've heard in weeks. I love all that these guys have done, from Grim Fandango and Monkey Island to Psychonauts (my absolute fave) and the more recent DeathSpank.

Kenzo287
Kenzo287

Psychonauts is original. Original for Double Fine. Make more of that. Or be creative and make something new see if I care. P.S. I will.

ToTs_00
ToTs_00

Doesn't surprise me that Ron teamed up with Tim again at Double Fine. I can't wait see what game comes out of this.

Beastcake
Beastcake

Their next game, BrutalSpank.

I_am_theOpus
I_am_theOpus

ok, Gamespot. For the last time nobody cares about some obscure sales figures, that doesn't qualify as real news. Oh, wait...this is an actual story, and great news at that. I just hope this new title isn't as short as Brutal Legend. But despite that, it's still in the top 3 for the best created open worlds. So much cool sh*t in that game.

MATRIXMAN3780
MATRIXMAN3780

Poor Brutal Legend =[ It was such an amazing game and still is. Tim's work always goes under appreciated.

mull20641
mull20641

This is the best announcement I've heard this year.I feel like running down the streets screaming with joy: TIM SCHAFER AND RON GILBERT ARE TOGETHER AGAIN!!!

Dezuria
Dezuria

Awesome duo. I expect great things from them.

RazerBlade13
RazerBlade13

OK... this is fantastic. Gilbert said it's very different from DeathSpank, which somewhat disappoints me, but still this year new games are going to bankrupt me.

KaBo0m
KaBo0m

He said a new IP. It's not a sequel

Skargamer
Skargamer

Please let it me Psychonauts 2, please let it be Psyhonauts 2!...

KaBo0m
KaBo0m

Interesting news, but I wish he had been able to stay with Activision. Bobby Kotick demands great games and results from his developers, a true hero to gamers everywhere Still I think the quality will be solid, but it may not be as high as to Kotck's demands

firedrakes
firedrakes

i rather have episodic brutal legend instead of full game. also not much ads for the game to began with and was release with triple a title month. which did not help

snugglebear
snugglebear

Schafer and Gilbert working in the same place, again? It'll be like when LucasFilm (before they went to LucasArts) actually made games about things that weren't SW! This could potentially rock quite hard.

ricardo-sene
ricardo-sene

"Fans of those old adventure games will like it" Oh man loved this!

RedWave247
RedWave247

This is like The Beatles of gaming reunion. I'd love to see Schaefer and Double Fine hook up with Telltale in some manner.