Jane Jensen and Robert Holmes, the intrepid game makers behind adventure game staples like the Gabriel Knight series and the team behind newly formed studio Pinkerton Road, got a pleasant surprise on May 6: Their Kickstarter campaign to fund hit its goal of raising $300,000 with close to two weeks left on the clock. This means that it’s first announced game, the “metaphysical sci-fi thriller” Moebius will go into production right away.
Jensen took a moment to chat with us about Pinkerton Road’s success on Kickstarter and how public support has changed Pinkerton’s relationship with publishers. “There has been more interest [from publishers]. I’d actually say it’s more that we’re being taken seriously since The Kickstarter began and it became clear we would get funding,” says Jensen.
With the extra funding coming in, Jensen and Holmes have promised that work has started on a second, untitled game they’re temporarily calling “Mystery Project X.” That game is distinguished from Moebius in that Pinkerton Road will not be publishing the title. While Kickstarter contributors will still receive a copy of the game as part of their pledge, “Mystery Project X” will be distributed by an established game publisher and Jensen has intimated that Pinkerton Road will not retain the license to the game.
That Pinkerton is partnering with a publisher for “Mystery Game X” is strong evidence that the game will be in an established series. When we last spoke with Jensen, she said that she hoped that Pinkerton would eventually get to work on Gabriel Knight 4, a sequel fans have been waiting on for thirteen years. Activision Blizzard became the owners of the Gabriel Knight franchise after acquiring Sierra in 2008.
Is it possible that Moebius and Pinkerton’s other planned original title Lola and Lucy’s Big Adventure will also see publisher support later on? It’s not unheard of for independently released digital games to get physical retail releases from interested publishers later on. Frictional Games’ Amnesia: The Dark Descent for example was a self-published hit on Steam before getting a physical release through THQ. Jensen says that Pinkerton’s original titles won’t go through a publisher ever so as to protect the intellectual property. “Moebius is our own studio property, so we would never seek funding from a publisher for that series that would result in having to give up the IP.”