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Double Fine joins the THQ bidding to win back its own games


Double Fine, the studio behind such fine products as Psychonauts, Costume Quest, and Stacking, are still in the pool of video game developers and publishers bidding on the leftover properties held by THQ. The now defunct publisher is set to auction off the last remnants of its business in April, and while big ticket items like Darksiders and Red Faction will be auctioned off individually, what Double Fine is after is unfortunately included in a package of 34 other intellectual properties.

In particular, Double Fine is trying to win back the console distribution rights to Costume Quest and Stacking. It self-published those titles in 2010 and 2011, but THQ managed their release on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

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“Double Fine owns the IP rights to Costume Quest and Stacking,” Double Fine VP of business development Justin Bailey told Polygon, “THQ retained limited distribution rights that we bid on during the previous process to reclaim them prior to their expiration. We are optimistic about regaining these distribution rights, as this process has already demonstrated that when there are parties interested in specific assets, those assets are worth more when sold separately.”

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Unlike a lot of Early Access games, Massive Chalice launched in a very playable state. Of course there were performance issues and the game crashed from time to time, but it was clear from the basic gameplay that Double Fine has created something special here.
While the game is most easily described as a turn-based strategy game, Massive Chalice has an ambitious scope, telling a story that spans 300 years. Battles provide the meat of the gameplay, but in the space between battles your surviving soldiers marry, have families, and pass on their genetic traits, resulting in a new generation of soldiers with specific advantages and disadvantages. When soldiers fall in combat, not only are they gone, but so are their traits.
The final 1.0 version of the game won’t “just be about making the game shinier,” Spaff writes in the post. New features are inbound as well, including controller support for the Steam version of the game, achievements, and balance adjustments.
To celebrate the launch, Double Fine will be hosting a live “teamstream” on June 1 on the company’s Twitch channel. As with Broken Age, a series filmed by 2 Player Productions documenting the game’s development, titled Massive Knowledge, will be released alongside the game.
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