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Grahamon

Monkey Island 3a kickstarter

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If I could speak for a moment as someone whose day job it is to deal with IP I do actually think that the laws are unfair in many ways, in that at the moment they are skewed in a very anti-consumer direction. But I don't think the understanding that when you work for a company, the work you do for them belongs to the company is unfair.

If Brad Muir quit for some reason and decided he wanted to make Iron Brigade 2, he'd have to licence the IP from Double Fine, and that seems fair enough because he created it on company time with company resources. It wasn't his own private project, no matter how attached to it he might be, and although when you are very close to a project you may feel a certain sense of 'ownership' the fact remains it was work you were paid to do by your employer.

Sure employers entirely owning their employees work is unfair! Providing finance and resources to a creative project is an important contribution, but creativity is more important. Ron should have at least an equal say in what happens to his games.

If Ron were to bring the story to an end, it could still be open to other developers like Telltale to create alternative versions of the Monkey universe. There needn't be a sense of the existing sequels being made illegitimate.

I think a kickstarter could potentially be useful to say to Lucasarts "If you don't want to finance this, we're happy to". And maybe they'll respond positively to a petition anyway, when they see how much support there is?

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I think a kickstarter could potentially be useful to say to Lucasarts "If you don't want to finance this, we're happy to". And maybe they'll respond positively to a petition anyway, when they see how much support there is?

Kickstarter won't let you do that, they don't allow projects using IPs you don't have the rights to.

Gamers already expressed their willingness to play more Monkey Island games, Ron also, and Lucas Arts responded by providing you more MI by giving taletales the opportunity to create an episodic adventure based on the universe and releasing special editions of the older ones.

So, in a way Lucas Art already responded positively to the fan demand, but not in the way some of the fans, and Ron, would have liked to.

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Well he wouldn't have been in anywhere near as good a position to make one back then anyway.

And thanks to Lucasarts seeming rotating president policy, it may be a while before anyone gets to make one again.

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Kickstarter won't let you do that, they don't allow projects using IPs you don't have the rights to.

The law is a jealous mattress. It's their game too. More-so. If they made it clear that it could only go ahead with the agreement of Lucasarts, why wouldn't it be fine? Or by using a non-kickstarter pledging system? Or a pledgeless petition?

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Sure employers entirely owning their employees work is unfair!

Why? They pay them for it. It's their job to create stuff for the company. Why should the company then be morally obliged to let you go off and make money for another company or yourself from the stuff you made for them?

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Why? They pay them for it. It's their job to create stuff for the company. Why should the company then be morally obliged to let you go off and make money for another company or yourself from the stuff you made for them?

Because money isn't the be all and end all. Why should Ron be obliged to stifle his creativity solely so Lucasarts can go off and make more and more money with his ideas, even though they're still making a profit from the original games? Why do we say "working for" rather than "working with"?

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Why? They pay them for it. It's their job to create stuff for the company. Why should the company then be morally obliged to let you go off and make money for another company or yourself from the stuff you made for them?

Because money isn't the be all and end all. Why should Ron be obliged to stifle his creativity solely so Lucasarts can go off and make more and more money with his ideas, even though they're still making a profit from the original games? Why do we say "working for" rather than "working with"?

Because he was an employee, and not a consultant or a freelancer?

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Because he was an employee, and not a consultant or a freelancer?

Well, technically yes, but do you see my point?

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Because he was an employee, and not a consultant or a freelancer?

Well, technically yes, but do you see my point?

I see it, I just disagree with it. People are compensated for the work they do at a company by their salary, nobody is under the illusion that they'll then get to take that work elsewhere unless they can buy it back from the company. I don't see what's so unfair about that. And furthermore the system you propose is fundamentally unworkable. Where would you draw the line on it? Is an artist on a project allowed to own the art they made for a project? A musician? Or is it just the project leads? What about all the stuff that went into Monkey Island that Ron Gilbert didn't come up with? Does he only get to use the bits he actually created himself? How do you keep track of that? How can a company protect against 'mutiny' if the employees decide they just want to take their creations and leave en masse, even though it was the company that provided the resources to get it made in the first place.

Sure, Ron Gilbert conceived Monkey Island, but he created it with LOTS of people, on company time, using company equipment and got it out to people using company funds and marketing. It wouldn't have happened without all that, and while it would be lovely to know what he would do with the IP if it got into his hands, it's not unfair that that isn't happening - he would have known when he left LucasArts he was also giving up his personal involvement in the stuff he created.

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We need Ron Gilbert to make "another" Monkey Island 3??? All Monkey Island games are great IMO. The fourth one is the weakest but MI3 is just as brilliant as the two previous games so this really seems silly to me in more ways than one. Especially since Gilbert is now working on a new adventure game. I have really high hopes for that one if you consider Gilberts track record (I thought The Deathspank games kicked ass too).

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Where would you draw the line on it? Is an artist on a project allowed to own the art they made for a project? A musician? Or is it just the project leads? What about all the stuff that went into Monkey Island that Ron Gilbert didn't come up with? Does he only get to use the bits he actually created himself? How do you keep track of that?

Good way to highlight the complexity of copyright. I wouldn't draw so many lines or keep so much track to begin with. If creative adaptations of creative works were to harm people's livelihoods, then there would clearly be a problem. But profit margins are what's being protected, and it's not the same thing. Creativity is a gift, not a possession. That's not to say financiers' contributions aren't very important or their rights to be dismissed. But their apparent decision-making authority and total ownership seems unbalanced to me.

I got this from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_rights_(copyright_law)

"Moral rights are rights of creators of copyrighted works...They include...the right to the integrity of the work. The preserving of the integrity of the work bars the work from alteration, distortion, or mutilation. Anything else that may detract from the artist's relationship with the work even after it leaves the artist's possession or ownership may bring these moral rights into play. Moral rights are distinct from any economic rights tied to copyrights. Even if an artist has assigned his or her copyright rights to a work to a third party, he or she still maintains the moral rights to the work."

So even under existing law, Ron very arguably has a moral right to finish his story. No?

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Where would you draw the line on it? Is an artist on a project allowed to own the art they made for a project? A musician? Or is it just the project leads? What about all the stuff that went into Monkey Island that Ron Gilbert didn't come up with? Does he only get to use the bits he actually created himself? How do you keep track of that?

Good way to highlight the complexity of copyright. I wouldn't draw so many lines or keep so much track to begin with. If creative adaptations of creative works were to harm people's livelihoods, then there would clearly be a problem. But profit margins are what's being protected, and it's not the same thing. Creativity is a gift, not a possession. That's not to say financiers' contributions aren't very important or their rights to be dismissed. But their apparent decision-making authority and total ownership seems unbalanced to me.

I got this from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_rights_(copyright_law)

"Moral rights are rights of creators of copyrighted works...They include...the right to the integrity of the work. The preserving of the integrity of the work bars the work from alteration, distortion, or mutilation. Anything else that may detract from the artist's relationship with the work even after it leaves the artist's possession or ownership may bring these moral rights into play. Moral rights are distinct from any economic rights tied to copyrights. Even if an artist has assigned his or her copyright rights to a work to a third party, he or she still maintains the moral rights to the work."

So even under existing law, Ron very arguably has a moral right to finish his story. No?

No, for a few reasons:

1) It would depend on whether the employment contract included a clause such that he agrees to waive his moral rights in the works he creates. This is pretty common and not as sinister as it sounds - moral rights are a sort of vague area and if a company intents to make use of an IP, it sort of makes sense for them to not have to worry about whether someone is going to assert moral rights whenever they decided to make some sort of change that the creator doesn't like - it can get messy very fast.

2) In actual fact, while the above applies to the area I work, the UK, it seems as if US copyright law does not fully recognise moral rights. If you see the Wikipedia article, it states: "While the United States became a signatory to the convention in 1989,[6] it still does not completely recognize moral rights as part of copyright law, but rather as part of other bodies of law, such as defamation or unfair competition."

3) Even so, moral rights are not intended to give you a stake in the future of the work, they are intended to ensure that after the work has left your hands you are still entitled to be credited for it (which he is), and to many sure it is not being used in a way that could be considered defamatory or a mutilation of the original work, and so on. There is no moral right to continue working on something you were originally (one of) the creator of but are not the owner of.

4) If the law were to be changed to give a broader definition of moral rights (bearing in mind that currently in most of the world, even our narrow definition of Moral Rights is not covered by copyright law), in order for it to work the way you say it would have to include a right for a creator to be able to license the work back from the current owner, which I hope I don't have to explain is entirely impractical and would be tantamount to owners of IP completely losing creative control of their franchises they owned. Maybe that's what you want, but I'm telling you that it's not just big publishing companies that would be angry if that sort of law came into effect. Also, there would be all the other logistical problems I mentioned before.

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I'm from the UK too, and I'm not well versed in law, but I can tell there is something wrong here. The very notion that moral rights can be waived or signed away is absurd. Maybe moral rights are inconvenient a to maximum profit business model, but cleverly written contracts aren't sacred texts or the final word. People often need to sign contracts without fully agreeing with, or understanding everything that's in them, because they're in an all or nothing kind of situation. Not agreeing with just one point can make the difference between dream job and no job. Also, while some people might not recognise moral rights, it doesn't mean they aren't there.

I found a great quote from Thomas Jefferson, apparently from a letter to Isaac McPherson on August 13, 1813:

"If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me."

I very much agree with this. Who else could be angered or hurt by such a wonderful prospect as Monkey Island 3, profiteers aside?

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I'm from the UK too, and I'm not well versed in law, but I can tell there is something wrong here. The very notion that moral rights can be waived or signed away is absurd. Maybe moral rights are inconvenient a to maximum profit business model, but cleverly written contracts aren't sacred texts or the final word. People often need to sign contracts without fully agreeing with, or understanding everything that's in them, because they're in an all or nothing kind of situation. Not agreeing with just one point can make the difference between dream job and no job.

I found a great quote from Thomas Jefferson, apparently from a letter to Isaac McPherson on August 13, 1813:

"If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me."

I very much agree with this. Who else could be angered or hurt by such a wonderful prospect as Monkey Island 3, profiteers aside?

Moral rights is just a name, dude, it just means the collection of rights which are there to make sure that someone is entitled to be given credit for their work even if it's out of their hand, and that the work isn't then used in such a way to bring it into disrepute.

Now, let's be clear about the concept of waiving moral rights because I was slightly misleading before: it depends on where you are from as to how those moral rights apply. In the US, they aren't strictly codified in the copyright law but they are covered by other areas of the law. So under US law, there's no real concept of waiving them. In some countries they can't be waived. In the UK they must by asserted - that is the creator of the work specifically gives notice that they are asserting moral rights, which in UK law cover attribution and right to object to derogatory treatment of the work. If notice isn't given, they are automatically waived, but it's not uncommon to see a contract which would include waiving moral rights, for avoidance of doubt (i.e. so that the creator can't later claim they asserted moral rights, and so that the stances is clear).

Why you would waive moral rights: perhaps you are not interested in being identified as the creator of a work, and perhaps you are not concerned about it being used in a derogatory manner. Why would a company require an employee to waive moral rights? Well, that's trickier, but really it's nothing sinister (and indeed, just because you have waived moral rights doesn't mean you won't get credited for your work).

Mostly it's to avoid situations like this: Let's say I'm working on the production team for some TV programme, and my main job is sort of admin, paperwork etc. but in the course of my duties I produce a few doodles which are used on set as children's drawings in some particular scene. If I asserted moral rights, then I would then have to be credited for that tiny contribution, and I would also have the right to raise a formal objection if those drawings were ever used in a way that I thought was defamatory. Not a big deal when it's just me, but the organisation I work for employs many thousands of people, and you can see how it could quickly become a problem if they all began asserting moral rights in every little contribution they make. Waiving moral rights is therefore common, but the organisation I work for also hires lots of external contributors, and in those cases moral rights are frequently asserted. And again: this is just a bit of terminology. Waiving moral rights doesn't mean everyone gets to be immoral. Other areas of the law are still there to protect you from wrongdoing.

But none of that matters. Nothing you have said changes the fact that implementing a system whereby a creator of a work would be legally entitled to license back his creation or would always be entitled to retain part-ownership of it is fundamentally unworkable and would be a complete disaster in practice. It would be lawsuit city, for all sorts of reasons.

So where does that leave us? I mentioned before how I think copyright law is anti-consumer at the moment for a variety of reasons, but it seems like this particular area is okay. You couldn't make a stronger version of moral rights which included some economic rights (currently seperate) without fundamentally ruining it. So, it has to be up to the discretion of the rights holder. At the moment, LucasArts aren't licensing out to Ron, and while Ron has expressed an interest in telling his side of the story, he's on other projects right now. It's possible LucasArts could be persuaded that it's a really good idea to do this, but the law is clear that they don't have to, and in this area the law seems sound. If you want to win the MORAL argument, then, you have to do it without reference to the law.

" Who else could be angered or hurt by such a wonderful prospect as Monkey Island 3, profiteers aside?" Nobody, but it's LucasArts who own the IP and they have no legal obligation to license it. I would also argue they have no moral obligation to licence it, since there is no deception involved in them owning it and all parties agreed to the terms by which it was created. If Ron had made the game all by himself, and self-published it, the situation would be different.

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I would also give my money to see "MI3a: The Secret Revealed or your Money Back". I suppose that now it wouldn't be canon (since CMI, EMI and TOMI already are), but it could be an "alternate version" game like "Silent Hill: Shattered Memories".

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If you want to win the MORAL argument, then, you have to do it without reference to the law.

Why? Law is a mere shadow of morality! It has just and practical value sometimes, like in some of the examples you give, but it's only needed as a guideline, when people forget how to be decent to each other. Like science and religion, it can be used for good and bad.

Laws that support greed, rather than the common good of society, are no good thing. Profiteering is greed, and we just need to look at the world's economy right now to see what good that does. Lucasarts may legally own the IP, and the creators may have knowingly signed the contracts, but the law here remains fundamentally unjust. I counter-argue that Lucasarts have no moral right to withhold any of the creators' ideas, should they want to work with them again! (and vice versa!)

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If you want to win the MORAL argument, then, you have to do it without reference to the law.

Why? Law is a mere shadow of morality! It has just and practical value sometimes, like in some of the examples you give, but it's only needed as a guideline, when people forget how to be decent to each other. Like science and religion, it can be used for good and bad.

Laws that support greed, rather than the common good of society, are no good thing. Profiteering is greed, and we just need to look at the world's economy right now to see what good that does. Lucasarts may legally own the IP, and the creators may have knowingly signed the contracts, but the law here remains fundamentally unjust. I counter-argue that Lucasarts have no moral right to withhold any of the creators' ideas, should they want to work with them again! (and vice versa!)

No, law is by necessity a compromise. In thousands of years philosophers and other people concerned with moral questions have been unable to come up with a consistent framework of morality that raises no troubling questions and that everyone is satisfied with, so how would you expect the law to do any better? No, what the law attempts to do (when it is working), is create a system that is the most fair to the most people. As I've explained in my previous posts, there are many ways in which copyright law IS currently unfair and needs to change in the modern world, but there is no way that the law can be 'fixed' in the manner that you're talking about that wouldn't cause many more problems than it solves.

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No, law is by necessity a compromise. In thousands of years philosophers and other people concerned with moral questions have been unable to come up with a consistent framework of morality that raises no troubling questions and that everyone is satisfied with, so how would you expect the law to do any better? No, what the law attempts to do (when it is working), is create a system that is the most fair to the most people. As I've explained in my previous posts, there are many ways in which copyright law IS currently unfair and needs to change in the modern world, but there is no way that the law can be 'fixed' in the manner that you're talking about that wouldn't cause many more problems than it solves.

I think law is often unfair precisely because it is a framework of morality. I agree that trying to fix the law would cause a whole heap of problems, and I don't like to impose my views on other people. I'm only suggesting a petition Lucasarts about this one case for anyone who agrees. Probably one that's nicely worded and doesn't ramble on about them having no moral rights :)

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No, law is by necessity a compromise. In thousands of years philosophers and other people concerned with moral questions have been unable to come up with a consistent framework of morality that raises no troubling questions and that everyone is satisfied with, so how would you expect the law to do any better? No, what the law attempts to do (when it is working), is create a system that is the most fair to the most people. As I've explained in my previous posts, there are many ways in which copyright law IS currently unfair and needs to change in the modern world, but there is no way that the law can be 'fixed' in the manner that you're talking about that wouldn't cause many more problems than it solves.

I think law is often unfair precisely because it is a framework of morality. I agree that trying to fix the law would cause a whole heap of problems, and I don't like to impose my views on other people. I'm only suggesting a petition Lucasarts about this one case for anyone who agrees. Probably one that's nicely worded and doesn't ramble on about them having no moral rights :)

Which is more or less what I'm saying, right? You can't change the law in a practical way that would give Ron and other people in this situation a legal right to work on IP they helped create, so you have to do it by other means. As I mentioned I'd argue

1) LucasArts has no moral obligation to letting Ron have his way with the IP. "It would be nice," isn't really enough.

2) it might be an interesting thing to see what Ron would have done with the series, but I doubt LucasArts sees it that way. I doubt a lot of casual fans of Monkey Island even know that Ron ever had other plans, so you'd be selling the idea to a very small niche of people who are interested... and kinda confusing everyone else.

3) Even then, not all the people who are aware that Ron had other plans for MI3 are much more than mildly curious about how it would have turned out. Sure, I'd buy that, but I don't think the demand for it is quite what you think it is. Since LucasArts are a business, there needs to be at least some sort of economic argument to make it happen, and I'm not sure there is a clear one.

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Which is more or less what I'm saying, right? You can't change the law in a practical way that would give Ron and other people in this situation a legal right to work on IP they helped create, so you have to do it by other means.

Agree!

As I mentioned I'd argue

1) LucasArts has no moral obligation to letting Ron have his way with the IP. "It would be nice," isn't really enough.

2) it might be an interesting thing to see what Ron would have done with the series, but I doubt LucasArts sees it that way. I doubt a lot of casual fans of Monkey Island even know that Ron ever had other plans, so you'd be selling the idea to a very small niche of people who are interested... and kinda confusing everyone else.

3) Even then, not all the people who are aware that Ron had other plans for MI3 are much more than mildly curious about how it would have turned out. Sure, I'd buy that, but I don't think the demand for it is quite what you think it is. Since LucasArts are a business, there needs to be at least some sort of economic argument to make it happen, and I'm not sure there is a clear one.

My impression is that if Double Fine made a video pitch for a Monkey Island 3 petition, clearly explaining the situation, there would be another tremendous response...

What could an economic argument be, given that Star Wars is quite the healthy cash cow? At least Double Fine Adventure has shown that it wouldn't be such a financial risk. I think an artistic argument could be stronger. As Lightprayer said, it has all the odds to be another masterpiece. There's more profit in that than there is in...er...profits. It may not be an obligation for them, but it would be very fair of them.

By the way, if there was an official petition, would you sign it?

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Which is more or less what I'm saying, right? You can't change the law in a practical way that would give Ron and other people in this situation a legal right to work on IP they helped create, so you have to do it by other means.

Agree!

As I mentioned I'd argue

1) LucasArts has no moral obligation to letting Ron have his way with the IP. "It would be nice," isn't really enough.

2) it might be an interesting thing to see what Ron would have done with the series, but I doubt LucasArts sees it that way. I doubt a lot of casual fans of Monkey Island even know that Ron ever had other plans, so you'd be selling the idea to a very small niche of people who are interested... and kinda confusing everyone else.

3) Even then, not all the people who are aware that Ron had other plans for MI3 are much more than mildly curious about how it would have turned out. Sure, I'd buy that, but I don't think the demand for it is quite what you think it is. Since LucasArts are a business, there needs to be at least some sort of economic argument to make it happen, and I'm not sure there is a clear one.

My impression is that if Double Fine made a video pitch for a Monkey Island 3 petition, clearly explaining the situation, there would be another tremendous response...

What could an economic argument be, given that Star Wars is quite the healthy cash cow? At least Double Fine Adventure has shown that it wouldn't be such a financial risk. I think an artistic argument could be stronger. As Lightprayer said, it has all the odds to be another masterpiece. There's more profit in that than there is in...er...profits. It may not be an obligation for them, but it would be very fair of them.

By the way, if there was an official petition, would you sign it?

Well, that question assumes a lot. While Ron Gilbert might want to revisit Monkey Island, maybe Double Fine doesn't, or there are other reasons why they wouldn't want to. If they did, I doubt that they would approach the idea by starting a petition. But...

If Ron decided he definitely wanted to make a new Monkey Island 3 with Double Fine...

And Double Fine agreed that this would be a cool thing...

And they decided that the best way to make it happen would be to have a petition about it...

Then yeah, I guess I'd sign that. But I wouldn't just sign a petition someone started to say they'd really like the game, I'm not really massively in favour of all this dreaming of what might have been, I think there are fantastic adventures still to be had in the future. So I'd have to be convinced that Ron and DF had some sort of really cool plan cooked up for the game that would make it worthwhile.

Anyway, as for the economic argument, with Kickstarter Double Fine haven't really proved anything yet. They've proved, I suppose, that about 80k people will buy a game just because it's an adventure with Tim Schafer attached to it, but 80k is small potatoes, in the grand scheme of things, and they haven't shown that it will sell well when it gets to Steam and so forth. All that's to come. With Monkey Island, they'd probably want a bigger budget than the one for DFA (which is still a small budget game), so they'd have to persuade LucasArts that not only could they recoup that expense, but they could provide a healthy return to make the whole thing worthwhile. Tales was successful for Telltale, which works in their favour, but it's different management from then, so they're going to have to make the argument to all new people, and lately things have been all quiet on the adventure front for LucasArts. They're getting ready to launch a whole new game franchise within the Star Wars universe which, while it has the brand name attached is always risky business and they might legitimately think that this would be another risk too far, or at least not something currently worth pumping money into.

I totally get what you're saying about the artistic argument, and it's not wrong, but you have to understand that publishers aren't EVIL, they don't choose not to fund a project because they're greedy little bastards (though clearly some people working at them are.) Fact is, there are people whose job it is to accept or reject games based on a judgement about how successful they think it'll be compared to how much it will cost (a perfectly sensible job to have in a company involved in publishing games), and when they reject a game because they don't think it'll make the company enough money compared to how much they put in, they're just doing their job, even if they think it's a really great concept. Is there room for creativity? Sure, and I'd love to see publishers taking more risks, but having a big franchise like Star Wars doesn't mean that you can treat the rest of your business like a playground.

But that's why it's great that we have so many different ways of getting games made now, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Increasingly, small developers can work on and keep their own IP, which is great, and a very good reason to be looking ahead.

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I don't think they're evil! Why petition an evil brother? Greedy, yes. Grim Fandango sold hundreds of thousands of copies, made a profit, and it can be considered too small a potato? A game that teaches the trappings greed, no less.

There's a seed of love in Monkey Island. Nourishment for the collective minds of children and "adults". Do we hate children so much as to tell half a story?

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I don't think they're evil! Why petition an evil brother? Greedy, yes. Grim Fandango sold hundreds of thousands of copies, made a profit, and it can be considered too small a potato? A game that teaches the trappings greed, no less.

There's a seed of love in Monkey Island. Nourishment for the collective minds of children and "adults". Do we hate children so much as to tell half a story?

I think you're still mis-characterising it a little. Grim might have made a profit, but the thing is that the profit margins of a game publishing business are really narrow when you consider the amount of money it costs to then reinvest in making new games. So when you think about funding projects you only have a certain amount of money to spend, you have to go for the ones which are the most likely to make the most profit. If you put lots of money into projects that are only likely to make a little project, you'll end up with less money in the pot with which to fund the next lot of games. So what happens in reality is that they look at all the projects and mostly pick games that either:

1) Don't cost a lot to make, and will make a reasonable profit, and maybe a big profit if you get lucky.

2) Cost a lot to make, and stand a good chance of making a huge profit.

Usually the ones in 1) are pretty safe bets, but they're not enough to sustain most big publishers on their own (companies that concentrate on this like PopCap and Zynga tend to be able to do so because they have some megahits). The ones in 2) are risky, but have the advantage that if they succeed, they succeed big, and you only need one or two of these to have a very successful year and lots of money for funding future games. There will also be some games where they only make a little profit, break even, or make a loss in this category, which means that they need to spread their bets and fund a good number of these.

At the time Full Throttle came out, it was in category 2) even though that's a small budget game nowadays. There were bigger budget games at the time, but Wing Commander 3 for example made news by costing $4 million, which was crazy-expensive for the time, but a budget of 2 million was in the region of a big budget game. Full Throttle sold loads, it was a big success for LucasArts, very profitable, which put Tim in a good position to pitch Grim Fandango. Grim Fandango made a profit (I think, don't have the numbers) but it wasn't nearly as successful, and for reasons explained above, big publishers are wary of spending a lot of money on games that they think will only make a little money.

And that's the reason why when you pitch to a publisher, you have to persuade them why not only your game will make its money back, but also that it will be highly profitable: if they don't think there's a good chance of that, they'll understandably reason that their money will be better spent elsewhere.

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What all this shows, in the end, is that the publisher model is limited - it's good for certain things, not so good for others, which is why people are finding new ways to get games made, now. But these old games were made at a time when the Publisher model was more or less the only game in town (sure, indie games happened but at nowhere near the scale and scope of now), and they wouldn't have got made otherwise. The story of Monkey Island DID continue, and probably will continue some more, and if that wasn't to your satisfaction... well, it's just too bad really, but it's not all gloom. Look forward to a bright new future where DF and others get to choose the games they want to make and control their destiny.

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There are many adaptations of the story now, but the original ending remains untold, swimming around in Ron's mind!

It really seems very simple to me. If Lucasarts don't want to risk investing in a true Monkey Island 3, fair enough... then don't leave it locked away collecting cobwebs; hand it over to Ron & Tim so they can fund it themselves with a kickstarter.

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There are many adaptations of the story now, but the original ending remains untold, swimming around in Ron's mind!

It really seems very simple to me. If Lucasarts don't want to risk investing in a true Monkey Island 3, fair enough... then don't leave it locked away collecting cobwebs; hand it over to Ron & Tim so can fund it themselves with a kickstarter.

Three things:

1: The last Monkey Island game was released in 2010, in the form of MI2:SE. The last original entry in the series (made with some consultation with Ron Gilbert, mind), was released at the end of 2009. Less than 3 years ago, both. That's hardly leaving it locked away collecting cobwebs. In a couple of years time you might have more of a point, but for all we know they're already talking to Telltale about the next series or have other plans.

2: Whatever happens, it certainly won't be 'handed over', it'll be a licensing deal.

3: What if Tim and Ron don't WANT it? This is the biggest assumption you're making. Just because Ron has expressed an interest in working on Monkey Island again, that doesn't mean that he or Tim will cancel any other plans they might have for the chance to do so. Indeed, Ron has stated that he really couldn't go back to making an old-style adventure game now because he's changed so much, so what to make of that statement? And Tim has said in the past that he much prefers working on new things rather than sequels, and I imagine that goes double for sequels that already exist, even if in some people's eyes they aren't ideal.

Bonus fourth thing: I think you're underestimating the amount of money it'd take to really do a monkey island sequ.. pre... requel? properly. They can do DFA on $2.something million because they can work from the beginning to design the game to work really well with that budget. MI comes with expectations pre-loaded, and they'd want to match those. It'd be a bigger budget game and I suspect they'd want to give themselves two years (if, again, they want to do it in the first place.)

Actually, the BIGGEST problem with what you're saying is: "It really seems very simple to me." It just isn't. Sorry that it isn't, but it rarely is. Take any one problem that you think is simple, and I'd wager it actually turns out to be three or four times more complex than expected - if not more.

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If Ron & Tim don't want it, then I don't mind at all. But of course they want it! They want it so bad!

Why on Earth would Lucas license to anyone but them?

It's like gravity; it's meant to come together.

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If Ron & Tim don't want it, then I don't mind at all. But of course they want it! They want it so bad!

Why on Earth would Lucas license to anyone but them?

It's like gravity; it's meant to come together.

I don't think they want it as bad as you think they want it. I think you'd like them to want it, though.

Also, to be fair, Dave Grossman is creative director at Telltale, and he was a writer/designer on the games too, let's not forget. So that could be one reason. Another reason could be that Telltale is full of ex. LucasArts employees and is known to hire people who have been active in the LucasArts fan community. They also worked on a franchise which LucasArts had worked on in the past in the same genre, in the form of Sam and Max. They also have a track record of working with existing franchises to make profitable episodic adventure games. So that might be some of the reasons why they'd license it to someone who isn't Ron & Tim. ;)

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SurplusGamer your logic is so cold that it has created a wall of ice around your heart that doesn't let the magic and wonder get in.

Maybe if we all concentrate and think really really hard on how much we want another Monkey Island 3 and if we all hum the Monkey Island theme together then maybe, just maybe, mr Lucas will be so touched that he will hand the IP and a a dozen million dollars to mr Gilbert and everything will be magical and little elves and lollipops.

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Every time someone is sarcastic, somewhere a lollipop falls in a really gross pile of body hair.

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