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Double Fine says period after Brutal Legend 2 cancellation was company’s “dark ages”

Wednesday, 2nd October 2013 14:18 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Double Fine’s lead programmer Oliver Franzke has compared the time after Brutal Legend 2 was cancelled by EA as the “dark ages” for the studio, due to the uncertainty surrounding what would happen to the company after having invested heavily in developing the sequel.

Speaking with GI International, Franzke said the company decided to take a risk and continue to operate by empowering its employees and “make their ideas happen.”

This led to the focus on smaller projects, maintaining the right culture with the right goals and stemming unnecessary growth.

“Double Fine hasn’t grown at all since Brutal Legend, we’re still very much the same team size,” he said. “In fact, we wouldn’t actually be able to put more people into our building because we’re maxed out.

“It really feels more like a family… A lot of people at Double Fine have been working there since the early days, for ten, 12 years, and it’s almost impossible in the games industry to find somebody who’s worked for a company for more than two years or something like that.”

Franzke gives all the credit to studio head Tim Schafer for creating a sense of community, despite the fact that striking such a balance isn’t always easy.

“It’s challenging for us sometimes to run with the creativity and take the risk, and to make this financially work, it’s not easy but it’s possible,” he said. “You have to choose your projects carefully at the end of the day.”

The next project from the company is Broken Age, which was posted to Kickstarter as A Double Fine Adventure and raised $3.3 million.

The game will be split into two parts with an early access version being made available to help fund ongoing development.

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4 Comments

  1. VibraniumSpork

    A real shame. Brutal Legend was pretty great, though it was a far shorter game than I’d expected and didn’t have much to give past the main campaign despite operating in an open-world environment.

    Any sequel they’d have made had a great foundation to build from.

    Having said that, to my mind Double Fine hasn’t really put a foot wrong before or since.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. fearmonkey

    I loved brutal Legend so much….right up the point it became an RTS and then stopped playing. I wanted what the game started off as being, not a semi-RTS style game.

    A shame they did that, as I loved the heavy metal theme. It was like a tribute to many bands and the music I grew up listening to.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. yeoung

    Ever since Grim Fandango, Double Fine has been on my radar. I loved, loved, loved Brutal Legend right up to the RTS bits, much like fearmonkey. Playing the opening bit, and the “Decapitatiiiooooooooooonnn” line perfectly delivered by JB I felt it was going to a game I’d enjoy as much as I did Psychonauts on PS2.

    When the whole RTS thing happened though.. I was saddened. Especially as things progressed and it steadily moved towards to foreground and evolved into the core battle mechanic. Very sad.

    I bought the game because of Double Fine/Tim Schafer, Metal, JB and beat em up, open world death metal valley style. A shame they went with RTS. Should have stuck it in a mini-game like in Psychonauts.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. dizzygear

    Apart from the crappy RTS gimmick my biggest problem with Brutal Legend was that there was this big heavy metal themed overworld with practically nothing do in it except looking for collectibles and the same boring side missions (shoot stuff, kill stuff and race against the ugly guy).

    #4 1 year ago

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