Publisher lined up for Double Fine's latest

Studio founder Tim Schafer says post-Brutal Legend project should be revealed soon, offers harsh appraisal of Activision CEO Bobby Kotick.

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Double Fine Productions has a history of trouble getting its games onto store shelves, but its next projects are off to a smooth start. In an interview with Eurogamer, studio founder Tim Schafer confirmed that Double Fine already has a publisher for the game the company is working on right now.

Double Fine's encore to Brutal Legend should be announced soon.
Double Fine's encore to Brutal Legend should be announced soon.

"They're going to announce the games pretty soon," Schafer said after declining to name the publisher.

Despite Schafer's pluralization, the developer said elsewhere in the interview that the studio "can only do one thing at a time." If Double Fine ever did expand to the point of being able to handle multiple projects, Schafer suggested it would be easier for the company to justify doing a sequel to one of its previous games, with the second game being an original project.

To date, Double Fine has released two games, both of which ran into serious publisher trouble. The studio's first title, Psychonauts, was dropped by Microsoft and spent months in limbo before being picked up by Majesco Entertainment. For an encore, Brutal Legend was originally set to be published by Vivendi Games label Sierra Entertainment but was dropped by the company upon its merger with Activision. EA Partners eventually picked it up, prompting Activision to sue Double Fine, claiming it still had rights to the project even if it didn't intend to publish it.

Moves like that have made Activision CEO Robert Kotick into a controversial figure in gaming, something Eurogamer asked the Double Fine developer about. When the interviewer suggested that Kotick was largely misunderstood, Schafer acknowledged that the executive's obligation is to his shareholders instead of gamers but still condemned his actions.

"Well, he doesn't have to be as much of a dick about it, does he?" Schafer asked, "I think there is a way he can do it without being a total prick. It seems like it would be possible. It's not something he's interested in."

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