Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert raised money for a brand new adventure game developed at Double Fine. Jane Jensen opened a new studio and started talking about making Gabriel Knight 4. Al Lowe brought back Leisure Suit Larry. Revolution studios raised enough money to develop not just Broken Sword: The Serpent’s Curse but also Beneath a Steel Sky 2. 2012 saw almost every single great adventure game of PC gaming’s past resurrected, funded, and in development. Between all those new projects and Telltale’s Monkey Island and Sam & Max games, what classic adventures still need saving? Ragnar Tørnquist’s The Longest Journey for one. According to Tørnquist and Funcom, though, that base is covered as well.
Funcom announced on Thursday morning that Tørnquist has opened a brand new studio, Red Thread Games, and licensed the franchise he created back in 1999 with The Longest Journey to make a brand new episodic series based in that game’s world. Dreamfall Chapters, the episodic sequel, has been teased by Tørnquist since releasing the first sequel, Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, in 2006 but Tørnquist has been occupied developing Funcom’s much maligned MMO The Secret World. He’s since left that game to open Red Thread Games and return to the series that made his name in gaming.
“Red Thread Games will independently fund and produce the sequel to Dreamfall, and has entered into a revenue sharing agreement with Funcom as part of the licensing deal,” reads Funcom’s statement, “Funcom owns the intellectual property rights to The Longest Journey, but due to the company’s focus on and commitment to the development of online games, the decision was made to license the rights to Mr. Tørnquist.”
Funcom’s complete focus on online games is largely what’s held up development of Dreamfall Chapters. The episodic series was originally announced in 2007, but at the time Funcom was already transitioning all of its resources into the development of MMOs Age of Conan and The Secret World. During its annual financial report 2007, Funcom did say it was considering development of an MMO based on The Longest Journey’s world, but nothing ever came of it.
The story of a woman named April Ryan living in two parallel worlds, The Longest Journey and its sequel were praised for their writing and involving stories. Now that Tørnquist has complete freedom to create his games, that tradition of storytelling can be preserved.
There’s been no word, however, about the rumored iOS releases The Longest Journey and Dreamfall. Here’s hoping those happen ahead of Dreamfall Chapters so people can catch up.