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.

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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.
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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