Notch: Schafer should crowdfund Psychonauts

Notch: Schafer should crowdfund Psychonauts

By Rob Crossley

February 16th 2012 at 11:45AM

As Minecraft creator explains hurdles in personally financing the project

Mojang director Markus ‘Notch’ Persson believes Double Fine should sail on the wings of its Kickstarter success and begin a new crowdfunding initiative for Psychonauts 2.

The Minecraft creator said that, were he in Double Fine boss Tim Schafer’s position, he would "decide to self-fund a Psychonauts sequel by doing more crowd funding".

Double Fine has raised nearly $2 million in a single week in what is widely seen as the most successful Kickstarter initiative yet. The San Franciscan studio hoped to make $400,000 to develop a point-and-click adventure game for PC and mobile device - a funding target achieved in just eight hours following an investment craze that gripped both industry professionals and adventure game enthusiasts.

But days before Double Fine launched its Kickstarter plan, Persson publicly told Schafer that he was willing to personally bankroll a separate project; Psychonauts 2.

Now writing on his personal blog, Persson appeared to suggest there was less chance that he is to fund the game.

“Being a big fan of the first Psychonauts, and thinking a sequel could probably be profitable, I semi-jokingly tweeted Tim about me funding a sequel,” his message began.

“Tim and I haven’t spoken much at all other than a couple of emails. We mentioned meeting at GDC, I hope that will happen. I assume Double Fine will be very busy for many months with the kickstarter project.”

Persson added that the budget for Psychonauts 2 – believed to be about $13 million – would be “three times higher” than Persson’s initial impression.

Several other parties have declared their interest in investing in the sequel, Persson claimed.

The Minecraft creator also clarified that he would not be investing for “charity” but because he believes the game would be profitable with an ROI.

“Naturally, I wouldn’t want to have any creative input in the game. It would be purely a high-risk investment in a project I believe in,” he added.

“I have no idea if this is actually going to happen. The Kickstarter stuff obviously changes the playing field a lot. Investing that incredibly high amount of money also requires a lot of planning and discussion, and I’ve never done anything like that before, but I do have contacts and advisors to help me out.”

Despite enumerating the hurdles in personally funding Psychonauts, Persson suggested there was still hope of a joint enterprise.

“All I know is that if the numbers work out and if they still want to do it and if they don’t decide to self fund a sequel by doing more crowd funding (which is honestly what I would’ve done if I were them), I would be most interested in doing this type of investment.”