Psychonauts 2's Tim Schafer Reflects On Life Under Microsoft

Double Fine boss Tim Schafer is a fan of Microsoft's limited integration approach to how studios operate under it.


Double Fine was a big acquisition for Microsoft back in 2019, as the studio headed by Tim Schafer had been responsible for well-received but not always financially successful games such as Brutal Legend and several remasters of classic LucasArts games. Now part of Microsoft's lineup of first-party studios, not much has changed for the developer as Tim Schafer explained that so far it had been business as usual--but without the added headache of having to secure funding for projects.

"The way that Xbox has been acquiring studios is what they call 'limited integration'," Schafer explained to Stevivor about how Microsoft's vast resources put his mind at ease. Under Microsoft, Double Fine still had complete creative freedom and access to the company's deep pockets.

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Now Playing: Psychonauts is still amazing 16 years Later

"Think about creative things instead of thinking about how you’re gonna run out of money in three months," Schafer said.

Not having to worry about budget constraints, Schafer added that the studio was free to focus on finishing its latest game to a level that it was satisfied with, making certain that a sufficient amount of polish was applied, and insert boss fights that had previously been cut back into the product. Another big advantage was access to other studios at Xbox that had experience with the Unreal Engine, as Double Fine developers met with their colleagues to learn more about the software.

Even though Double Fine is now part of Xbox, Microsoft will still honor the sequel's original promise when it was originally crowdfunded and release it on PlayStation. Unlike Deathloop though, Psychonauts 2 will also come to Xbox and will be a day one game on Xbox Game Pass.

Our Psychonauts 2 preview describes the game as an "engaging, ambitious, honed-in take on colorful 3D platformers," and if you're interested in finding out more before it launches on August 25 then you can check out our Psychonauts 2 preorder hub.

If you're new to the series, there's also a new and weird story trailer to check out.

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