Tim Schafer’s Double Fine may go PC only in the next generation

Psychonauts 2

When Tim Schafer founded Double Fine more than ten years ago, it was with the intent of breaking into the video game console market. The iconic developer made a name for himself with PC games like Full Throttle and Grim Fandango, but the success of Sony’s PlayStation at the turn of the century indicated that the real money would be in living room game development. So Double Fine focused on consoles and delivered two cultishly adored commercial failures, Psychonauts and Brutal Legend, before turning to downloadable games. Now, with game consoles shrinking in market influence and becoming increasingly PC-like, Double Fine is wondering if it’s going to stay in the console business at all.

“We’d still like to be active in that space, we care about consoles, but unless they open things up a lot more like what we have on Steam… if they opened things up more it would be a more friendly place from our perspective,” Schafer told Polygon, “We’ve talking to them about this stuff, and you know, they hear us. They’re big companies and they can’t make changes overnight, but I think they’re taking that stuff into consideration. We’ll have to see what happens.”

For a perfect example of how Double Fine has fared better on PCs than on consoles, look at Psychonauts. Microsoft funded the game for development on the original Xbox, but after multiple delays, the game was dropped. Majesco later picked up the game and released it in 2005, but even with a PlayStation 2 port released, the game languished in obscurity. More recently it was released on Steam. “We’ve looked at the numbers on stuff like Steam. We made more on Psychonauts this year than we ever have before,” said Schafer.

He thinks that games like Psychonauts may thrive better on the next round of consoles, though. “Our fear was that the next generation was going to be only big AAA games. It was only going to be a place for Call of Duty and Halo. But we’ve talked to [console makers], and told people what things would be hard for teams our size with regards to consoles.”

Schafer points to costs like patches and certification as the sort of console-specific expenses that hamper a small team like Double Fine. The high cost of Microsoft’s patch process on Xbox Live Arcade has forced some developers to forego fixing games altogether. Fez creator Phil Fish said earlier this year that no patch would be released for his game because Microsoft wanted thousands of dollars to release the patch via Xbox Live, an expense that would have been free had Fish released it himself for PCs.

Gaming

Get a Double Helix set and 1000 V-Bucks with Nintendo Switch’s ‘Fortnite’ bundle

A new Nintendo Switch bundle launching in October includes free in-game V-Bucks currency for Fortnite, as well as additional digital goodies. The game supports crossplay with most other systems.
Deals

Check out the best Xbox One deals and bundles for September 2018

Microsoft's consoles are just as capable of streaming movies as they are of playing the latest games. Check out our top Xbox One deals and bundles, which include new and upcoming triple-A games like Battlefield V and Fallout 76.
Gaming

Annual game releases are boring. Try a quirky indie game for the PS4 instead

While big budget games rely on practical innovation, indie games dive head first into new, unexplored territories. If the quirky and unusual appeal to you, take a look at our list of the best indie games on PS4.
Gaming

Best family-friendly games both parents and kids love

There are a wealth of great games out there that both parents and kids can enjoy together. We compiled a list of 30 games across all genres that are sure to make family game night a great time.
Gaming

‘Fortnite’ is cited as a reason for 200 divorces in the U.K.

Epic Games' Fortnite is extremely popular, and it can be quite addictive -- so much so that it has been cited as a reason for divorce proceedings in more than 200 separate cases in the U.K.
Gaming

YouTube has a new destination for gamers as it plans to shutter gaming app

YouTube is shuttering its gaming app early next year and turning its attention to developing a brand-new gaming destination on its main site. The app launched in 2015 as part of efforts to take on video-gaming platform Twitch.
Computing

We tested Nvidia’s RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti. Are they a worthy upgrade?

We finally have Nvidia's newest graphics cards, the RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti, and put them through our standard suite of benchmarks and game tests to see how they performed in a standard play of Battlefield 1 and Fornite. How do they compare to…
Gaming

What the FUT? An in-depth guide to getting started in 'FIFA 19' Ultimate Team

New to the latest entry in the FIFA franchise? Our 'FIFA 19' Ultimate Team guide will provide you with everything you need to know. including which packs to focus on first and how to extend contracts.
Computing

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 vs. GTX 1080

Should you upgrade from your GeForce GTX 1080 to the GeForce RTX 2080? Even if you won't take advantage of ray tracing, there are other benefits to the RTX series. We'll examine how each GPU performs to help you decide.
Computing

Here are all the games that support Nvidia’s RTX ray tracing

These are the upcoming games that support ray tracing rendered on Nvidia's RTX series graphics cards. They aren't many in number at this point, but thanks to the power of ray tracing, they are some of the best looking games ever made.
Gaming

PlayStation Classic arrives this December with ‘Final Fantasy VII’ in tow

Sony has announced the PlayStation Classic, its own plug-and-play system pre-loaded with 20 games from the original PlayStation's library. These include Tekken 3 and Final Fantasy VII.
Gaming

Leaked rating could point to ‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ on PS4

A rating for PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds on PlayStation 4 has been spotted on the Korean Game Rating and Administrated Committee website. The game is currently only available on Xbox One and PC.
Gaming

‘Destiny 2' and the 'Fortnite' Celebration Pack are free right now with PS Plus

Free games, radically discounted hit titles, and exclusive DLC are all on the table with PlayStation Plus. We're here to make sure you don't miss out on any of the best PS4 game deals available this month.
Gaming

How to pre-order your PlayStation Classic before it's too late

Sony's PlayStation Classic comes with 20 pre-loaded games and two wired controllers for $100. While we don't know the full list of games yet, you can already pre-order the console. Here's how to snag one early.