According to a recent post on his personal blog to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Monkey Island series, Ron Gilbert would love to get his hands on the adventure franchise. The ex-LucasArts developer explained how he had always wanted to create a third game in a trilogy for Monkey Island and that for that to happen, Disney would have to be willing to sell the rights to him.
“I don’t know if I will ever get to make another Monkey Island. I always envisioned the game as a trilogy and I really hope I do, but I don’t know if it will ever happen. Monkey Island is now owned by Disney and they haven’t shown any desire to sell me the IP. I don’t know if I could make Monkey Island 3a without complete control over what I was making and the only way to do that is to own it. Disney: Call me.”
The first Monkey Island game released in 1990 with The Secret of Monkey Island, a graphic adventure game that is widely considered to be one of the best examples of the genre ever made. It proved to be a critical and commercial success and launched the story of protagonist Guybrush Threepwood. A direct sequel was then launched in 1991 entitled Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge to similar acclaim and both games have since been remastered and re-released on modern platforms such as the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and iOS devices.
Ron Gilbert decided not to work on any further games in the series to concentrate on other title and future entries in the franchise were handled by other developers, including Jonathan Ackley, Larry Ahem and later Telltale Games. As part of LucasArts portfolio of intellectual property, the Monkey island series was sold to Disney along with LucasFilm in 2013 and with the development studio effectively shut down, all internal development projects were cancelled.
This has left the future of classic game franchises created by LucasArts, such as Full Throttle, Indiana Jones, Maniac Mansion and Day of the Tentacle in doubt. There is still some hope though, as Telltale Games have continued to release Sam & Max games while Tim Schafer was able to acquire the license rights to Grim Fandango to create a remaster of the game with the help of funding from Sony.