Notch Wants You To Stop Freaking Out About Psychonauts 2
Fans of the Playstation 2 classic Psychonauts have long wanted a sequel. Last year, when Double Fine, who already owned the IP rights, managed to secure the publishing rights as well, it seemed that they might finally get their wish. Unfortunately, thanks to Psychonauts’ relatively low sales, Tim Schafer has continually been unable to secure funding, a fact he confirmed earlier this month in an interview with Digital Spy.
Enter Mojang’s Notch, who outed himself as a fan and supporter when he told Tim Schafer he would like to be involved getting Psychonauts 2 made via twitter. Perhaps it’s because he’s still a shy nerd, or that he hasn’t quite grown used to his fame, but Notch was somewhat unprepared for the enthusiasm his comments would spark. Apparently, he has been deluged with correspondence from Psychonauts fans who took his comments to mean that there will definitely be a sequel, and it’s freaked him out.
To quell mass rejoicing before there’s even a deal in place, he took to his personal blog with a personal appeal for everyone to calm down. “Being a big fan of the first one, and thinking a sequel could probably be profitable, I semi-jokingly tweeted Tim about me funding a sequel,” he said. “And then the internet exploded. (Or at least my inbox did)” But of course it did. Psychonauts is possibly the only console game with a more devoted, and bereaved, fanbase than Beyond Good and Evil. And Notch doesn’t want to get everyone’s hopes up.
“[S]top hyping over this, internet!”, he writes. “I am incredibly scared of the very real risk of people feeling let down just because I took a chance at something that doesn’t end up panning out.” Given the prior difficulty getting Psychonauts 2 made, that’s a strong possibility. Of course, Notch acknowledges that in light of Double Fine’s successful Kickstarter appeal, prospects have improved, but if this happens, it’s going to be a while. Notch and Shafer have only communicated a few times via email, he reveals in his post. They’re hoping to meet up at GDC to discuss further, but any work on Psychonauts will likely be a long time in coming, as Double Fine’s time will be taken up with their work on the Kickstarter project.
Naturally, the biggest obstacle in getting Psychonauts 2 made is funding. “I would not be investing in this as a charity,” Notch says. “It would be because I think the game would be profitable.” He does believe in light of the expressed demand, it might be, though he cautions that a PN2 budget is 3 times higher than what he initially assumed. Other interested parties, like Dracogen’s Steven Dengler, have expressed an interest in getting involved, though how many others has not been revealed.
So we should all probably relax a bit. Then again, so should Notch. Psychonaut fanpeople have long been used to immense disappointment, and Notch himself would probably be declared a saint if video gaming had a priesthood no matter what he did. He’s no doubt aware of this, which is why he’s probably having a bit of fun too. “Also, I realize you won’t stop hyping,” he added, “so I’ll just go into hiding for a few years if it falls through.”