Last month during E3, Microsoft made a surprise announcement. The fact that they had scooped up yet another independent studio wasn’t the surprise — it’s more of a shock when they DON’T do that — but the identity of the studio sure was: Double Fine Productions, the award-winning adventure game makers led by Tim Schafer. Schafer himself took the stage at that point and said Psychonauts 2 was now a first-party XBox title.
As someone who owns a PS4 and a Switch, but not an XBox, this news was troubling. Generally, two consoles will cover all your gaming needs per generation; it shouldn’t be necessary to invest in three. But here was a game that I really wanted to play, suddenly requiring an extra purchase of $250 or more and free space underneath my TV.
Fortunately, this is leading to the good news the headline mentioned. Despite Double Fine’s new position as XBox game creators, Psychonauts 2 will remain the multiplatform experience it was promised as back when its crowdfunding campaign was launched. (Good thing, too — ask all those people awaiting Shenmue 3 on Steam how they feel now.)
E3 kicked off with us sneaking into the Microsoft press briefing to adorn Phil Spencer in a Psychonauts shirt. We then snuck past Keanu to announce that we would be joining Xbox Game Studios, and that Psychonauts 2 would be published by Microsoft (instead of Starbreeze) as a first party title. Now, before anyone panics! We have confirmed that we will be able to honor Psychonauts 2 for every platform that we have already promised here, and that includes bringing the game to PlayStation 4!
So what’s the bad news? The fact that the same blog post this came from also confirms Psychonauts 2 is officially delayed into 2020. That’s not a sudden revelation; its Steam page has stated “2020” for several months now and everyone already figured something was up. Considering the original target release year was 2018, it’s been quite a while. But we’re fine with waiting if the finished product is that much better.